A collaboration between Stephen Roberts and Thomas Nickson in the Department of Engineering Science, Russell Cain and Marian Dawkins in the Department of Zoology has led to the successful development of a camera system that enables farmers to keep a constant watch on their broiler (meat) chicken flocks.

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The system delivers a 'verdict' every 15 minutes. By detecting irregularities in the optical flow patterns made by chicken flocks as they move around the house, it gives advance warning of welfare issues such as hockburn and gait problems.

Further information
BBSRC blog
Optical flow1
Optical flow predicts hockburn and gait
Early prediction of hockburn
Optical flow and behaviour