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Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) System for Monitoring Specific Behaviors of Group Housed Broilers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-051)
Authors:   Guoming Li, Yang Zhao, Rhet Hailey, Nan Zhang, Yuanji Liang, Joseph L. Purswell
Keywords:   Broiler, Feeding behaviors, Drinking behaviors, UHF-RFID system


. Behavioral responses of broilers may be used to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the rearing system and management practices. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology offers a solution to monitor specific behaviors of individual animals in group settings. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate an ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID system for continuously monitoring feeding and drinking behaviors of individual broilers. The UHF-RFID system consisted of tags, antennas, readers, and a data acquisition (DAQ) system. Each antenna generated an electromagnetic field that automatically registered the tags within its detection range and sent the tag ID to the DAQ through a reader. Detection ranges of the antennas were modified to cover only the areas of interest (in this case, feeders and drinkers) through a series of system customizations and adjustments. The numbers of broilers at feeders and drinkers registered by the UHF-RFID system were compared to visual observation data. The results showed that a desired electromagnetic field can be achieved by adjusting the power setting and/or by shielding excess radio wave emissions. The accuracy of the UHF-RFID system for determining numbers of broilers at feeders and at drinkers was 92.5±4.2% and 94.7±4.2%, respectively. It is concluded that the newly-developed UHF-RIFD system successfully registered feeding and drinking behaviors of individual broilers in group settings with satisfactory accuracy, and thus is a useful tool for investigating impacts of resource allocation and management practices on these behaviors.

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