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PhD Studentship: Sound Analysis of Broiler Chicken - What Can We Tell About Health, Welfare and Productivity from Sound Patterns During Growth

University of Bristol - Bristol Veterinary School

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: International Students, Self-funded Students
Funding amount: Self-funded
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th January 2019
Closes: 3rd June 2019

The project:

Vocalisation sounds in broiler chickens, reared under intensive farm conditions, may have potential to be used as a tool to improve their health and welfare status. Precision livestock farming (PLF) develops management tools aimed at continuous automatic monitoring of animal welfare, health, environmental impact and production in real-time. Audio analysis, and decision making informed by audio information and prediction and avoidance of health, welfare and disease impacts through use of automated measures may have the potential to have positive effects on animal health and welfare in poultry farming systems. The objectives of this study are the identification and characterisation of vocalisations by chicks, using automated audio assessment tools, during early life, under normal farm conditions; examination of possible linkages between specific individual sounds and social behaviours and; characterisation of possible vocalisation changes in terms of frequency and type of sound emitted with increasing age. In addition, the study will aim to characterize possible vocalisation changes in terms of frequency and type of sound crearted with alterations in house environmental factors, and potentially with health and treatment status.

This studentship will start in September 2019.

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at Please select ‘Faculty of Health Sciences’ and then ‘Veterinary Science_(PhD)’ on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

We will consider students who are either self-funded or will apply for a scholarship scheme such as from the China Scholarship Council (, a Commonwealth Scholarship (, or those from other countries (see for a list). If you intend to apply for a scholarship please contact us as soon as possible so we can support that process.

Candidate requirements: A degree in animal agriculture, animal behavior, or veterinary science. The candidate will have an interest in, and experience in, farm animal production systems. The candidate will have enthusiasm for automated assessment methods, and will show capacity in data collation and word processing. 

Funding: Self-funded, or supported by funds from a successful scholarship application such as to the China Scholarship Council (deadline 18th January 2019) or a Commonweath Scholarship (deadline 25th January 2019).


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