This project explores novel phenotyping methods for locomotion to increase genetic response for locomotion. Locomotion is an important health and welfare trait, but it is also a difficult to measure trait. Locomotion can be recorded by trained experts viewing the animals one by one, a laborious task. Sensors have the potential to record at least some features underlying the locomotion scores from experts. Sensors have the advantage to measure repeatedly and record changes over time.
To assess locomotion of livestock this project is testing inertial measurement units (IMUs) and cameras. The challenge is to find features from sensor data that can be measured routinely on all selection candidates of a breeding program, and that really lead to better welfare of production animals.
Published results in this project are:
AC Bouwman, A Savchuk, A Abbaspourghomi, B Visser. 2020. Automated step detection in inertial measurement unit data from turkeys. Frontiers in Genetics 11, 207. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.00207