• Behavioral Monitoring Tool for Pig Farmers: Ear Tag Sensors, Machine Intelligence, and Technology Adoption Roadmap

    Santosh Pandey (see profile)
    Veterinary medicine, Anti-infective agents, Machine learning, Artificial intelligence, Dairying, Swine--Housing, Internet of things, Wireless communication systems
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    In a pig farm, it is challenging for the farm caretaker to monitor the health and well-being status of all animals in a continuous manner throughout the day. Automated tools are needed to remotely monitor all the pigs on the farm and provide early alerts to the farm caretaker for situations that need immediate attention. With this goal, we developed a sensor board that can be mounted on the ears of individual pigs to generate data on the animal's activity, vocalization, and temperature. The generated data will be used to develop machine learning models to classify the behavioral traits associated with each animal over a testing period. A number of factors influencing the technology adoption by farm caretakers are also discussed. Abstract: Precision swine production can benefit from autonomous, noninvasive, and affordable devices that conduct frequent checks on the well-being status of pigs. Here, we present a remote monitoring tool for the objective measurement of some behavioral indicators that may help in assessing the health and welfare status-namely, posture, gait, vocalization, and external temperature. The multiparameter electronic sensor board is characterized by laboratory measurements and by animal tests. Relevant behavioral health indicators are discussed for implementing machine learning algorithms and decision support tools to detect animal lameness, lethargy, pain, injury, and distress. The roadmap for technology adoption is also discussed, along with challenges and the path forward. The presented technology can potentially lead to efficient management of farm animals, targeted focus on sick animals, medical cost savings, and less use of antibiotics.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    11 months ago


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