Computer Vision-Based Animal Preference Assessment – Do Laying Hen Chicks Prefer Light with UVA Radiation?

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Liu, Kai
Wang, Kailao
Fei, Tao
Chai, Lilong
Major Professor
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Xin, Hongwei
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
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Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science originally concerned itself with teaching the selection, breeding, feeding and care of livestock. Today it continues this study of the symbiotic relationship between animals and humans, with practical focuses on agribusiness, science, and animal management.

The Department of Animal Husbandry was established in 1898. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Animal Science in 1962. The Department of Poultry Science was merged into the department in 1971.

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Poultry have a fourth retinal cone that allows them to see in the ultraviolet A (UVA) wavelength (315-400 nm) and may use UVA perception to modify various behavioral functions such as feeding, peer recognition, mate selection, and social encounters. As UVA perception is an essential part of poultry vision, it may be of socio-economic significance to provide certain amount of UVA light in poultry production facilities, particularly in most of modern facilities where artificial lighting is the only light source for the birds. However, there is limited scientific information regarding how to provide the UVA supplementation to birds as well as the behavioral responses of birds to UVA radiation. The objective of this study was to assess preference of W-36 chicks (day-old) for light-emitting diode (LED) light supplemented with or without various levels of UVA radiation (0%, 5%, 10%, and 15%), i.e., LED vs. LED+UVA. A total of 108 chicks (day-old) in 18 groups over nine successive batches were assessed for their choice via preference test. For each group (six chicks), each bird was individually identified with one of the six colored marks (yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, and orange) on the head. Each group of chicks involved an 8-day preference test, during which the birds could move freely between two inter-connected compartments that contained LED and LED+UVA, respectively. A real-time monitoring system was employed to record behaviors of chicks at a capture rate of 5 frames per second. Trajectory of each bird was tracked using automated computer vision based on color detection algorithms. Time spent and feed intake by the birds under each light condition were measured daily and analyzed with generalized linear mixed models. The following results were found. In the scenario of 0% vs. 5% UVA, the chicks spent significantly lower amount of time under LED+UVA than under LED (45.6% vs. 54.4%), but had comparable feed use under both light conditions. In the scenario of 0% vs. 10% UVA, the chicks showed similar amount of time spent and feed use. In the scenario of 0% vs. 15% UVA, the chicks spent significantly higher proportion of time (61.3% vs. 38.7%) and consumed significantly more feed (60.5% vs. 39.5%) under LED+UVA than under LED. The study demonstrates the attracting effect of UVA light at 15% inclusion rate under LED illumination on chicks in terms of time spent and feed use. A large-scale and long-term study to further verify the positive effects of UVA inclusion seems warranted.


This proceeding was published as Liu, Kai, Kailao Wang, Tao Fei, Lilong Chai, and Hongwei Xin. "Computer Vision-Based Animal Preference Assessment – Do Laying Hen Chicks Prefer Light with UVA Radiation?" ASABE Annual International Meeting, Detroit, MI, July 29-August 1, 2018. Paper No.1800193. doi: 10.13031/aim.201800193. Posted with permission.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018