HogFIT - Facial Inference Technology

Know what your pigs are thinking before they do!

HogFIT software uses features of a pig’s face to infer their innate personality and predict their behavioral response to husbandry decisions

Use Case

Farmers acquire side and profile photos of a pig’s face during piglet processing, weaning, or gilt selection using any device with basic 2D imaging capabilities. Variations in facial structure are quantified using patent-pending image analysis algorithms, and stored in the farm’s management software just like any other production trait at a fraction of the space of the image file. Farmers purchase add-on programs that usethese measures to inform management decisions influenced by animal personality like formation of production groups, selection of wean and load out dates, and calculation of Estimated Breeding Values. The basic structure of these algorithms will be determined through designed experiments, but optimized over time to individual farms and barns using machine learning tools.

Potential

Temple Grandin, the most influential animal welfare advocate of our time, constantly emphasizes “you cannot manage what you cannot measure.” An animal’s personality influences its ability to thrive under different management conditions, but is difficult to assess by observation. HogFit provides farmers a fast and noninvasive method of quantifying swine personality that can be reliably applied across varying farm environments. This information can subsequently be used to tailor management decisions to the animal's individual needs in order to reduce stress and maximize performance. Over time it can be used to breed pigs more cognitively suited to a specific production environment. In this way, farmers can maximize efficiency and profits while improving the overall welfare of their animals.

Business Case

We need a larger validation trial of our current algorithms and to explore how this data on aggression can be incorporated into swine grouping decisions. This requires seed funding or an industry partner. Personality, life experience, and environment must all be taken into consideration when predicting behavior. For this reason, we propose partnering with an established farm management software provider to market our system as an add-on functionality. In this way, farmers avoid repetitive data entry, we enjoy easier market penetration, and the software provider adds unique value to their product. Once farmers begin to collect facial biometrics on their operations, we can develop new applications of this technology using on-farm data at a fraction of the price of controlled experiments.

Objectives:

  1. Maximize animal health and avoid production setbacks by minimizing anticipated stress responses and providing a positive social environment.
  2. Avoid injury and improve feed efficiency by optimizing distribution of personality types across pen assignments to minimize aggression.
  3. Reduce piglet death by improving selection of maternal instinct in gilts and optimizing behavioral management of sows in the farrowing house

Team HogFIT

Raleigh, NC, United States of America

Our Team

  • Samuel North Carolina State U, United States of America
  • Catie McVey NC State U, United States of America
  • Dan Oliver North Carolina State U, United States of America

Studying up for the final rush / Published January 10, 2016 by Samuel

Studying up for the final rush

In which our resident entrepreneur, Santa Pig, studies his material to prepare for the pitch

Tonight's the night! #tffchallenge / Published January 10, 2016 by Samuel

Tonight's the night! #tffchallenge

In which the cute pig calendar provides needed inspiration

Follow us on Twitter! #HappyPigsHappyFarmers / Published January 10, 2016 by Samuel

Follow us on Twitter! #HappyPigsHappyFarmers

https://twitter.com/PigProfiler

Our squealing good twitter page

Our Mission

To improve farm productivity through improved animal welfare by uniting smart farming technology using big data solutions.

Our Background

To gain connection, raise funds for R&D, and to divert the conversations about the current issues in food animal agriculture from complaints to solutions.

Studying up for the final rush / Published January 10, 2016 by Samuel

Studying up for the final rush

In which our resident entrepreneur, Santa Pig, studies his material to prepare for the pitch

Tonight's the night! #tffchallenge / Published January 10, 2016 by Samuel

Tonight's the night! #tffchallenge

In which the cute pig calendar provides needed inspiration

Follow us on Twitter! #HappyPigsHappyFarmers / Published January 10, 2016 by Samuel

Follow us on Twitter! #HappyPigsHappyFarmers

https://twitter.com/PigProfiler

Our squealing good twitter page

Our Team

  • Samuel North Carolina State U, United States of America
  • Catie McVey NC State U, United States of America
  • Dan Oliver North Carolina State U, United States of America

Our Mission

To improve farm productivity through improved animal welfare by uniting smart farming technology using big data solutions.Read More

Our Background

To gain connection, raise funds for R&D, and to divert the conversations about the current issues in food animal agriculture from complaints to solutions.Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.