Commercial turkey production requires continuous health and welfare assessment as it is critical to assure good flock performance, profitability and meat quality. In addition, animal welfare plays an increasingly important role granting competitiveness and access to international markets as some countries or premium labeling programs require verification of optimal welfare. Commercial turkeys are visually evaluated on daily basis, but up to the present no method was available to quantify in a simple, reliable and standardized manner the health and welfare status of the flocks. Due to the large number of birds, and the fast turnover of the production cycles in meat poultry, flock health and welfare assessment is particularly difficult.
The i-WatchTurkey App developed within the frame of the AWIN FP7 EU project (www.animal-welfare-indicators.net), by scientists at Ikerbasque and Neiker-Tecnalia (Spain) and the University of Milan (Italy) is a tool specifically developed for turkey health and welfare assessment. The i-WatchTurkey allows assessing critical health and welfare indicators in turkey flocks in a simple and standardized manner. It does not require changes in the routine farm evaluation. The method of assessment is based on the transect methodology (Marchewka et al., 2013, 2014).
The i-WatchTurkey App enables turkey producers to easily collect the incidence of the most relevant health and welfare indicators in a simple manner at the time of a regular health inspection. This app includes the possibility of recording the frequency of birds with relevant welfare and health deficiencies, such as the incidence of immobility, severe lameness, injuries, unwanted behaviors or other serious health issues in the flocks without catching or disturbing the birds. The App allows the user to customize the scoring to include additional parameters of interest or to score birds with multiple problems. Data collection is done in a comfortable touch –screen mode, while the evaluator is slowly walking along the house and observing birds, as is usually conducted in routine walks through the production house. The incidence of the health and welfare issues collected is automatically standardized by the number of birds in the flock at the time of assessment and the number of transects conducted.
i-WatchTurkey App allows entering relevant information, such as birds strain, age, housing and management conditions, expanding significantly the applications of the app and potential for further data analysis (for example to compare results in management changes, diets, lighting programs etc). Date, time, geographic location, and weather conditions at the time of inspection are automatically collected if working in the on-line mode. The app generates a report and warning message if mean incidences of the indicator for such inspection is significantly above of the historical mean (calculated from previous flock evaluations). These outputs are available immediately after finishing data collection. Full database consisting of all the collected over time information is saved in CSV format (.XLS compatible) and can be further analyzed. Continuous, easy access to reliable, historical and current information on the health and welfare status of birds in relation to management and environmental factors, , is an important asset for decision-making process of the companies, helping improving birds´ health and welfare based on a methodological and standardized data collection.
The i-WatchTurkey developed with funding from EU VII Framework programme (FP7-KBBE-2010-4) grant # 266213
For further information contact: Dr. Inma Estevez Ikerbasque Research Professor at Neiker Tecnalia
Marchewka, J., Watanabe, T.T.N., Ferrante, V., Estevez, I. (2013). Poultry Science, 92:2588–2599. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.3382/ps.2013-03229
Marchewka, J., Estevez, I., Vezzoli, G., Ferrante, V., Makagon, M. (2014). Poultry Science, In Press.
I-WatchTurkey is a free software application from the PIMS & Calendars subcategory, part of the Business category.
The app is currently available in English and it was last updated on 2015-03-29. The program can be installed on Android.
I-WatchTurkey (version 1.2.0) has a file size of 3.04 MB and is available for download from our website.
Just click the green Download button above to start. Until now the program was downloaded 21 times.
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