Profiling the environmental conditions in animal farms and monitoring the behaviour of farm animals, allows to gain essential insight for animal welfare, increase of quantity and quality of food production, efficient use of resources, and effective veterinary and agricultural controls performed by authorities. The key to generating an environmental profile is the specification, accurate and continuous measurement of environmental parameters in farms. Current monitoring solutions for animal farming are expensive, difficult to install and maintain, and are often limited to monitoring specific parameters. Thus, these systems are typically deployed in large-scale animal farming systems where the additional cost can more easily be offset.
However, small and medium sized animal farmers, collectively generating a significant portion of the total agri-food production in Europe, often opt against adopting these technologies to reduce their expenses, claiming that the potential gain does not meet the financial investment needed. This is particularly true in the south and eastern EU countries where animal farming industries rely on rudimentary, more traditional technologies and techniques. For example, in Cyprus less than 60% of poultry farmers use standard technologies (e.g. thermostat-based ventilation, time-based feed supply, etc.) and the remaining 40% do not use any technologies in their farms. Our research suggests that conditions on the ground are similar for other EU countries, such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and others. The lack of cutting-edge technologies in animal farming causes a chain reaction affecting not only the individual farming businesses, but also makes it difficult for authorities to monitor and control the sector.
Bearing all this in the mind, the Poultry Farm Intelligence (PoultryFI) project strategically combines relevant expertise and know-how from industry and academia to devise an integrated digital ecosystem that can revolutionise the poultry farming industry by introducing state-of-the-art sensing and monitoring capabilities in existing poultry houses, coupled with novel data mining and analytics to empower the next-generation of poultry farmers. The SuPerWorld team is investigating how advanced AI models may be used in order to determine how environmental conditions in a farm may affect various farm-related parameters, including production, animal welfare and energy efficiency, empowering farmers and authorities for reliable decision making.
Techniques used: Pervasive computing, Internet of Things, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Deep Learning.
Collaboration with: Algolysis LTD (Coordinator)
Started: February 2022
Funding: The Poultry-FI project is funded by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), which is the national authority in charge of supporting and promoting research, technological development and innovation in Cyprus.