Novel detection of chicken welfare using machine vision


The Australian chicken meat industry predominantly uses sheds to house chickens. Sheds are typically inspected 3 times per day, however continual monitoring is required for early intervention of chicken stress. In particular, chickens are susceptible to heat stress which is affected by chicken behaviours, e.g. chicken sitting, not grouping together, or grouping together. Previously, USQNCEA has demonstrated lowcost remote monitoring using $50 smart cameras, onboard image analysis, to perform tasks like cattle condition scoring, pig weight estimation and crop monitoring in research projects. See project information at and The project will develop a proofofconcept system for monitoring chickens and their behaviour in chicken sheds, for the purpose of immediate remote notification of the shed supervisor for events that indicate conditions in the shed that affect flock welfare.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

University of Southern Queensland

Objective Summary

This project addresses part of Objective 2: “Novel and innovative objective welfare indicators” of the RIRDC Chicken Meat program. The objectives of the project are: 1. Develop proofofconcept lowcost sensing and notification system. 2. Develop image analysis algorithms for detecting chicken behaviour. 3. Make recommendations for further development. A steering committee will be initiated for the project. The monitoring system must be lowcost, as there can be 20 chicken sheds on a farm, and each shed is 100120 m long by 120 m wide with each shed housing 40,000 chickens. Internet connectivity is not guaranteed at chicken sheds, and the farm office can be over 1 km away from the sheds.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Project Completion Date

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Promoting and maintaining good health

National Priority

Advanced Technology

National Priority

CME-Improve chicken meat production through the whole supply chain