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12. Precision Livestock Farming

Our research aim and focus

The research aim to develop, validate and refine PLF-technologies that support a more sustainable animal production in terms of animal welfare and health, use of resources (nutrient, feed, water) and reduce the need for antibiotics.

Our primary focus areas

  • Investigate animal-based indicators. Investigate how animals express positive and negative affective states (eg. joy, stress, frustration, pain), nutritional need, thermal and (re)productive status, as well as early signs of disease. This knowledge is the foundation for the below steps towards PLF-technologies:

  • Automation of indicators. Investigate the use of smart sensor technology (incl. image analysis), for continuous surveillance of indicators for welfare, health, production and for the animals’ environment.

  • Early warning systems. Train and test algorithms for early warning of for example diseases, damaging and abnormal behavior, signs of drop in productivity and environmental conditions (air quality, access to resources etc.).
  • Intervention at early warning. Investigate intervention strategies when the risk is high for a specific problem to occur (such as thermal discomfort, tail biting, lameness or disease).
  • Precision feeding and management. Phenotyping animals/groups for precision feeding and management to support the need of individuals or groups rather than the average animal.
  • Increase transparency of animal welfare in production systems. Compile life-time information on animal welfare using automated indicators to enhance consumer knowledge and decision making related to animal products and as documentation in relation to authorities.

Theme group coordinator

Lene Juul Pedersen

Professor - Section manager Department of Animal Science - ANIS Behaviour, stress and welfare (BSW)

Our research perspectives

The research provide the necessary biological knowledge to develop PLF-technologies, that:

a) guide farmers’ attention to these animals or places that require attention and change

b) enhance possibility for timely intervention (eg. inefficient growth and feed conversion, welfare and health problems)

c) allow care for individuals rather than groups

d) provide information assisting authorities in control and consumers in decision making on consumptions/use of animal products (eg. welfare labeled products).