Phenolab

The PhenoLab is a test lab based at the CARUS animal facilities of Wageningen University & Research and has been developed by i3B partners WUR, Noldus IT and Dorset Identification. The lab combines three different systems for phenotyping:

1. Traditional video recording for behavioral observations with The Observer software

2. Automatic video tracking with EthoVision software

3. Ultra-wideband (UWB) tracking with Ubisense tags and TrackLab software

The PhenoLab project started in January 2016 and aimed to develop methods for automatic monitoring of location, activity and proximity in group-housed laying hens. The project was funded within the Breed4Food Bright Ideas Call, with funding from the Top sector Agri-Food and from the Breed4Food companies (Hendrix Genetics, Cobb, Topigs Norsvin and CRV). For animal breeders, it is of capi­tal importance to be able to collect phenotypic data on an individual level, even when animals are housed in group housing, creating a strong market demand for phenotyping tools. The PhenoLab project set out to develop methods for automatic phenotyping (= characterization) at the individual level in group-housed animals.

We now investigate the expansion of the field lab: PhenoLab 2.0 – Expanding possibilities for automated tracking. We see scope for expanding the PhenoLab with extra sensors or more advanced versions of our current hardware and/or software and two enable work on a wider range of animals (pigs, cows). We have identified partners to work on the EFRO fieldlab subsidy.

Subsidy: € 100.000,-

Partners: Wageningen University & Research; Noldus IT; Dorset

Website: click here