The working hypothesis is that by quantitatively considering how hens see their world, we will have the ability to maximize/minimize the perception of different cage-free components (e.g., drinkers, perches, conspecifics, etc.) and thus explore barn spatial configurations that lead to positive changes in hen behavior to optimize productivity and welfare.Specific AimsCollect baseline information on laying hens' visual systems, physiology, behavior, welfare, and production outcomes in two types of existing commercial cage-free housing systems.Develop visual models to quantitatively estimate how hens perceive housing environments under different light conditions.3. Develop agent based models of virtual designs for new cage-free housing systems.4. Validate the next-generation virtual cage-free housing system in an empirical setting.
AGENT BASED MODELING TO IMPROVE CAGE-FREE HOUSING SYSTEMS: WHAT DOES THE HEN SEE?
Karcher E; Zollner, Pa, .; Jones, De, R.; Erasmus, Ma, .; Fraley, Gr, S..; Fernandez-juricic, Es, .