Tools To Help With Swine Behavior Management And Wellbeing Definitions

Behavior data, acquisition, summary, and analysis are very time-consuming.[9] The researcher must decide on the classification of each behavior and this can add subjectivity or bias. Within the field of applied animal ethology and, in particular, the study of farm animal behavior, ethologists differ about what actions constitute a given behavior. This leads to a lack of consistency in comparing studies of swine behavior. Typically, at the beginning of a behavior experiment, an ethogram (a catalogue of behaviors, vocalizations, and odors issued by an animal) is developed for the species under study. Even though many dictionaries are available to assist with this process, behavior is extremely dynamic and difficult to capture using written information only and still photographs. Computer and video technology is progressing and future developments may allow totally objective measures for behavior to be collected.

An animal behavior encyclopedia has been developed to allow searching and viewing of defined (videorecorded) behaviors on the Internet. This video database is being developed to initiate a system that automatically extracts animal motion information from an input animal activity video clip using a multiobject tracking and reasoning system. Eventually, the extracted information will be analyzed and described using standard animal behavior.[9] Behavioral definitions to accompany the video clips have been reprinted or adapted from the Dictionary of Farm Animal Behavior.[10] The online behavioral encyclopedia is available at the Web site of the Livestock Issues Research Unit (http://www.liru.asft.ttu.edu/Refman/ DB sponsors.htm).[11] This tool can help standardize behavioral classification of swine behavior. Standardization of measurement will benefit the swine industry, which ultimately bases its swine behavior management on trained caretakers who can recognize normal and abnormal behaviors.

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