Artificial Intelligence in Poultry Production

Prof. P.K. Shukla & Amitav Bhattachayya and Ambika Sharma*

Department of Poultry Science,

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Mathura- 281001 (U.P.)

*Department of Veterinary Biochemistry.

The growing importance ofArtificial Intelligence in poultry industry has scaled in recent years, especially in the post-pandemic period. As one of the significant contributors to the global economy and regulator of the global hunger index, the global poultry industry went through a severe crisis in both developed and developing countries during the COVID-ridden phase and aftermath. The poultry industry was severely impacted by several challenges such as a disrupted supply chain, lockdown policies, fluctuation in food price, and reduction of feed resources leading to the rocketing price of poultry and animal products- causing significant discrepancies between demand and supply. 

To avert these challenges and with an aim to usher in more sustainable practices, poultry industry is noticeably embracing and implementing AI (artificial intelligence) in every aspect of poultry farming and trading. The sole aim behind this reliance on AI is to enhance operational efficiency and avert unpredictable challenges by gathering and analyzing data to foster a data-driven and predictable poultry market.

AI in its simplest form means combining computer science and datasets to enable machines to perform tasks and solve problems equivalent to human intelligence. AI programming is done to create algorithms that can learn from data to make predictive analysis. There are several facets to AI advancements such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), robotics, and so on. The application of AI in poultry production can help address many challenges while improving farming efficiency and maximizing profit.

To secure poultry production and market interests, leading poultry giants are deploying IoT-enabled poultry farm management systems like precision livestock farming (PLF) technology, advanced sensors, and data-driven decision-making. PLF technology is already garnering major attention for automating poultry farm management and production with real-time flock health monitoring, identification of birds, precise feed management, virtual fencing, etc. -everything with accurate data analysis and smart measures implementation. AI can help the poultry industry address environmental impact, animal welfare, and production efficiency and also automate animal identification and weighing, improving accuracy and efficiency.AI can optimize breeding processes by automating tasks like egg grading, identifying live embryos, controlling incubation conditions and predicting hatching probability.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various industries, including agriculture, and poultry production is no exception. Here are some ways AI is being utilized in poultry production:

Data Analytics and Prediction:  AI algorithms analyze vast amounts of data collected from poultry farms, including environmental conditions, feed consumption, bird health metrics, and production yields. By analyzing this data, AI can predict trends, detect anomalies, and optimize various aspects of production for better efficiency and profitability.

Monitoring and Management:  AI-powered systems can monitor poultry houses in real-time using sensors to track parameters such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and water consumption. This continuous monitoring helps identify and address issues promptly, such as ventilation problems or disease outbreaks, leading to improved bird welfare and higher productivity.

Feed Management:  AI algorithms can optimize feed formulations based on factors like bird age, weight, health status, and nutritional requirements. By precisely adjusting feed compositions, AI helps maximize growth rates, minimize feed wastage, and reduce costs while ensuring that birds receive the nutrients they need for optimal health and performance.

Disease Detection and Prevention:  AI systems can analyze data from various sources, including bird behavior, physiological indicators, and environmental conditions, to detect signs of disease outbreaks early. This early detection enables prompt intervention measures, such as targeted treatments or biosecurity protocols, to contain the spread of disease and minimize losses.

Breeding and Genetics:  AI techniques like machine learning are used to analyze genetic data and breeding records to identify genetic markers associated with desirable traits such as growth rate, feed efficiency, disease resistance, and egg production. This information helps breeders make more informed decisions in selecting breeding stock, accelerating the breeding process, and producing poultry with improved traits.

Robotics and Automation:  AI-powered robots are increasingly being deployed in poultry farms for tasks such as egg collection, cleaning, and disinfection. These robots can work autonomously or under human supervision, reducing labor requirements, improving efficiency, and ensuring consistent performance.

Decision Support Systems: AI-based decision support systems provide farmers with recommendations and insights to optimize various aspects of poultry production, such as resource allocation, flock management, and risk assessment. By leveraging AI-driven analytics, farmers can make data-driven decisions that enhance productivity, profitability, and sustainability.

Overall, AI is transforming poultry production by enabling farmers to make more informed decisions, optimize resource utilization, enhance animal welfare, and meet the growing demand for high-quality poultry products in a sustainable manner.

  1. Data Analytics and Prediction in poultry production

Data analytics and prediction play a crucial role in modern poultry production, enabling farmers to optimize various aspects of their operations for improved efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Here’s how data analytics and prediction are applied in poultry production-

Performance Monitoring: Farmers collect data on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as growth rates, feed conversion ratios, mortality rates, and egg production. By analyzing historical data and trends, farmers can identify patterns and anomalies, enabling them to take proactive measures to address issues and optimize performance.

Environmental Monitoring: Sensors installed in poultry houses collect data on environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and lighting conditions. Analyzing this data helps farmers ensure that environmental conditions are optimal for bird health and productivity. Predictive analytics can anticipate potential environmental challenges and allow farmers to take preventive actions.

Feed Management: Data analytics is used to optimize feed formulations based on factors such as bird age, weight, genetic background, and nutritional requirements. By analyzing feed consumption data and performance metrics, farmers can adjust feed compositions to maximize growth rates, minimize feed wastage, and reduce costs.

Disease Detection and Management: Data analytics can help detect early signs of disease outbreaks by analyzing data from various sources, including bird health records, environmental conditions, and biosecurity measures. Predictive analytics models can identify patterns indicative of potential disease outbreaks, enabling farmers to implement timely interventions such as vaccination programs or biosecurity protocols.

Supply Chain Optimization: Data analytics is used to optimize supply chain logistics in poultry production, from sourcing inputs such as feed and chicks to distributing finished products to markets. By analyzing data on supply chain processes and performance metrics, farmers can identify inefficiencies, reduce costs, and improve the overall reliability and resilience of the supply chain.

Market Forecasting: Data analytics is used to forecast market demand for poultry products based on factors such as consumer preferences, economic conditions, and seasonal trends. By analyzing market data and historical sales patterns, farmers can adjust production levels and pricing strategies to meet demand and maximize profitability.

Decision Support Systems: Data analytics provides farmers with valuable insights and recommendations through decision support systems. These systems leverage advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to analyze complex data sets and provide actionable recommendations for optimizing various aspects of poultry production, from flock management to resource allocation.

Overall, data analytics and prediction play a critical role in helping poultry farmers make informed decisions, optimize production processes, and ensure the sustainable and efficient production of high-quality poultry products.

  • Monitoring and Management in poultry production

Monitoring and management in poultry production involve overseeing various aspects of bird health, welfare, environmental conditions, and production processes to ensure optimal outcomes. Here’s how monitoring and management are implemented in poultry production-

Environmental Monitoring: Poultry houses are equipped with sensors to monitor environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and lighting. These sensors provide real-time data that allows farmers to maintain optimal conditions for bird comfort and health. Automated systems can adjust ventilation, heating, and cooling systems based on sensor readings to ensure conditions remain within the desired range.

Health Monitoring: Regular health checks and monitoring are essential for detecting signs of disease or distress in poultry flocks. Farmers observe bird behavior, assess feed and water consumption, and inspect flock appearance to identify any abnormalities. Additionally, automated systems can analyze data from sensors and cameras to detect signs of illness or injury, such as changes in activity levels or abnormal behavior patterns.

Feed and Water Management: Monitoring feed and water consumption is crucial for ensuring birds receive adequate nutrition and hydration. Automated systems track feed and water usage in poultry houses, providing farmers with insights into flock health and performance. This data helps optimize feeding schedules, adjust feed formulations, and detect any issues that may affect bird welfare or productivity.

Production Performance Monitoring: Farmers monitor various production metrics, including growth rates, feed conversion ratios, egg production, and mortality rates, to assess flock performance and identify areas for improvement. Data on production performance are collected regularly and analyzed to track trends over time, optimize management practices, and maximize profitability.

Biosecurity Management: Biosecurity measures are implemented to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases on poultry farms. Monitoring and management of biosecurity involve strict protocols for controlling access to poultry houses, sanitizing equipment and facilities, and monitoring the health status of incoming birds. Regular inspections and audits help ensure that biosecurity measures are effectively implemented and maintained.

Waste Management: Poultry production generates waste in the form of litter, manure, and wastewater, which must be managed to minimize environmental impact and maintain hygiene standards. Monitoring and management of waste involve proper storage, handling, and disposal practices to prevent contamination of air, soil, and water resources. Technologies such as composting, anaerobic digestion, and nutrient recovery systems may be employed to manage poultry waste sustainably.

Record Keeping and Documentation: Accurate record-keeping is essential for monitoring and managing various aspects of poultry production, including flock health, feed and water consumption, medication usage, and production performance. Electronic record-keeping systems allow farmers to store and analyze data efficiently, track trends over time, and comply with regulatory requirements.

Overall, effective monitoring and management are essential for ensuring the health, welfare, and productivity of poultry flocks while minimizing environmental impact and maximizing profitability in poultry production.

  • Feed Management in poultry production

Feed management is a critical aspect of poultry production that involves the efficient and effective provision of nutrition to poultry flocks to support their growth, health, and productivity. Here’s how feed management is implemented in poultry production-

Nutritional Requirements Assessment: Understanding the nutritional requirements of poultry at different stages of growth is essential for formulating appropriate feed rations. Factors such as age, breed, sex, weight, and production goals (e.g., meat or egg production) influence the nutritional needs of birds. Nutritionists analyze these factors to develop balanced feed formulations that provide essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals in the correct proportions.

Feed Formulations: Feed formulations are tailored to meet the specific nutritional requirements of poultry flocks based on factors such as age, growth rate, and production stage. Ingredients used in feed formulations may include grains, protein sources (e.g., soybean meal, fishmeal), fats and oils, vitamins, minerals, and additives (e.g., enzymes, probiotics). Formulations may be adjusted periodically to optimize performance and adapt to changing nutritional needs.

Feed Manufacturing: Feed manufacturing facilities produce feed according to formulated recipes, ensuring consistency in ingredient quality, particle size, and nutrient content. Quality control measures are implemented to maintain feed safety and integrity, including ingredient testing, mixing protocols, and equipment maintenance. Pelleting or crumble processing may be used to improve feed digestibility and palatability.

Feed Delivery and Distribution: Feed is delivered to poultry houses using automated feeding systems, feed bins, or feed carts. Feed delivery systems are designed to minimize waste, ensure accurate dosing, and provide easy access for birds. Feed distribution schedules are optimized based on factors such as bird age, consumption rates, and production goals.

Feed Management Practices: Farmers implement feed management practices to optimize feed efficiency, minimize wastage, and maximize productivity. These practices may include feeding strategies such as restricted feeding or phase feeding, which adjust feed allowances based on bird age and growth stage to match nutritional requirements more closely. Monitoring feed consumption and adjusting feed allocations accordingly help prevent underfeeding or overfeeding.

Water Management: Adequate access to clean, fresh water is essential for proper feed digestion and nutrient utilization in poultry. Farmers ensure that water is freely available to birds at all times and monitor water quality to prevent contamination or dehydration. Water management practices complement feed management efforts to support overall flock health and performance.

Performance Monitoring and Adjustment: Regular monitoring of production performance metrics, such as growth rates, feed conversion ratios, and egg production, provides feedback on the effectiveness of feed management strategies. Farmers analyze performance data to identify trends, optimize feed formulations, adjust feeding practices, and make informed decisions to improve overall flock efficiency and profitability.

By implementing effective feed management practices, poultry producers can optimize feed utilization, promote bird health and welfare, and achieve optimal performance outcomes in terms of growth, production, and profitability.

  • Disease Detection and Prevention in poultry production

Disease detection and prevention are paramount in poultry production to maintain flock health, welfare, and productivity. Here’s how it’s typically approached-

Biosecurity Measures: Implementing strict biosecurity measures is the first line of defense against disease introduction and spread. This involves controlling access to poultry facilities, limiting visitors, disinfecting equipment and vehicles, and establishing buffer zones to prevent contact with wild birds or other potential sources of disease.

Regular Health Monitoring: Routine health monitoring involves regular inspections of birds for signs of illness or distress. Farmers observe bird behavior, check for abnormal physical symptoms such as lethargy, respiratory distress, or changes in fecal consistency, and monitor production parameters such as feed consumption and egg production. Any abnormalities are promptly investigated, and appropriate action is taken.

Diagnostic Testing: When disease symptoms are observed or suspected, diagnostic testing is conducted to identify the causative agent and confirm the presence of disease. Samples such as blood, feces, or swabs are collected from affected birds and submitted to diagnostic laboratories for analysis. Tests may include polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or culture-based methods to detect pathogens.

Surveillance Programs: Surveillance programs are implemented to monitor for the presence of specific diseases or pathogens within the poultry population. This may involve regular testing of healthy birds, environmental sampling, or sentinel monitoring using specific pathogen-free (SPF) birds. Surveillance data help identify disease trends, assess risk levels, and guide preventive measures.

Vaccination Programs:  Vaccination is a key strategy for preventing infectious diseases in poultry. Vaccines are administered to birds to stimulate their immune system to produce protective antibodies against specific pathogens. Vaccination programs are tailored to the specific disease risks and production goals of each farm, and vaccines may be administered via spray, drinking water, or injection.

Sanitation and Hygiene Practices: Maintaining clean and hygienic conditions in poultry facilities is essential for preventing disease transmission. Regular cleaning and disinfection of facilities, equipment, and vehicles help reduce the spread of pathogens. Proper waste management practices, such as timely removal and disposal of litter and manure, minimize environmental contamination and disease risk.

Quarantine Protocols: Introducing new birds or equipment into a poultry facility carries the risk of introducing pathogens. Quarantine protocols are implemented to isolate new arrivals from the existing flock for a specified period, allowing time for observation and testing to detect any potential disease threats before they can spread to the rest of the flock.

Integrated Pest Management: Pests such as rodents, insects, and wild birds can serve as vectors for disease transmission. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies are employed to control pests through a combination of methods such as sanitation, exclusion, trapping, and, if necessary, targeted pesticide application to minimize disease risks.

By implementing a comprehensive approach that combines biosecurity measures, regular monitoring, diagnostic testing, vaccination, sanitation, and quarantine protocols, poultry producers can effectively detect and prevent diseases, safeguarding flock health and ensuring the sustainable production of high-quality poultry products.

  • Breeding and Genetics in poultry production

Breeding and genetics play a crucial role in poultry production by influencing traits such as growth rate, feed efficiency, disease resistance, egg production, and meat quality. Here’s how breeding and genetics are managed in poultry production-

Selection of Breeding Stock: Poultry breeders carefully select breeding stock based on desired traits and genetic potential. Traits of interest may include growth rate, feed conversion ratio, egg production, egg quality, meat yield, and resistance to diseases or environmental stressors. Breeding programs aim to improve these traits over successive generations through selective breeding.

Genetic Evaluation: Genetic evaluation involves assessing the genetic merit of individual birds or breeding lines based on performance data and pedigree information. Traits of interest are measured or estimated, and genetic parameters such as heritability and genetic correlations are determined. This information guides breeding decisions by identifying birds with superior genetic potential for desired traits.

Quantitative Genetics: Quantitative genetics principles are applied to analyze the inheritance of complex traits in poultry populations. Breeding values are estimated for each trait of interest, reflecting the genetic contribution of individual birds to offspring performance. Selection decisions are based on breeding values, with emphasis placed on birds with the highest genetic potential for desired traits.

Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS): Marker-assisted selection involves using molecular markers to identify specific genes or genetic markers associated with desired traits. DNA-based markers are analyzed using techniques such as genotyping or DNA sequencing to predict the genetic merit of individual birds more accurately. MAS facilitates the selection of breeding stock with desired traits and accelerates genetic improvement.

Genomic Selection: Genomic selection leverages genome-wide DNA marker information to predict breeding values for complex traits. High-density genotyping arrays or next-generation sequencing technologies are used to genotype breeding populations, allowing for more accurate estimation of genetic merit and faster genetic progress. Genomic selection is particularly effective for traits with low heritability or complex genetic architectures.

Crossbreeding and Hybridization: Crossbreeding and hybridization strategies are employed to introduce genetic diversity and heterosis (hybrid vigor) into poultry populations. Crosses between genetically divergent lines or breeds can result in offspring with improved performance traits such as growth rate, feed efficiency, or disease resistance. Hybrid vigor can enhance productivity and profitability in commercial poultry production systems.

Genetic Diversity Preservation: Maintaining genetic diversity within poultry populations is essential for long-term breeding success and resilience to environmental challenges. Conservation programs, gene banks, and pedigree records are used to preserve genetic diversity in rare or endangered breeds. Genetic diversity preservation efforts ensure that valuable genetic resources remain available for future breeding programs.

Ethical and Welfare Consideration: Ethical considerations, including animal welfare, are integral to breeding and genetics in poultry production. Breeding goals may include traits related to bird health, behavior, and welfare, as well as production performance. Selective breeding aims to balance genetic improvement with ethical considerations to promote the overall well-being of poultry populations.

By integrating advanced breeding and genetics techniques, poultry producers can continuously improve the genetic potential of their flocks, enhance production efficiency, and meet the evolving needs of consumers and the poultry industry.

  • Robotics and Automation in poultry production

Robotics and automation technologies are increasingly being adopted in poultry production to improve efficiency, productivity, and animal welfare. Here’s how robotics and automation are utilized in various aspects of poultry farming-

Egg Collection: Robotic systems are used to automate the collection of eggs from laying hens. These systems can identify and gently pick up eggs from nests, transport them to collection points, and sort them based on quality criteria. Automated egg collection reduces labor requirements, minimizes egg damage, and improves overall efficiency.

Feeding Systems: Automated feeding systems dispense feed to poultry flocks at predetermined intervals or based on sensor readings. These systems use conveyor belts, augers, or pneumatic systems to deliver feed to designated feeding areas within poultry houses. Automated feeding systems optimize feed distribution, reduce feed wastage, and ensure consistent access to feed for birds.

Watering Systems: Automated watering systems provide clean, fresh water to poultry flocks continuously. These systems use nipple drinkers, cup drinkers, or automated troughs to deliver water to birds. Watering systems are equipped with sensors to monitor water consumption and detect leaks or malfunctions, ensuring birds have access to sufficient water for hydration and health.

Environmental Control: Automated environmental control systems regulate temperature, humidity, ventilation, and lighting conditions in poultry houses to create optimal living environments for birds. These systems use sensors to monitor environmental parameters and adjust heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting equipment automatically to maintain desired conditions. Automated environmental control systems optimize bird comfort, health, and productivity while reducing energy consumption and operational costs.

Cleaning and Sanitation: Robotic cleaners and sanitizers are used to automate the cleaning and disinfection of poultry houses between production cycles. These robots use brushes, sprayers, or scrubbers to remove litter, debris, and biofilms from floors, walls, and equipment surfaces. Automated cleaning and sanitation systems improve hygiene, reduce disease transmission, and minimize labor requirements.

Health Monitoring: Robotics and automation technologies are employed to monitor bird health and behavior in poultry flocks. Automated imaging systems, cameras, or sensors capture data on bird activity, movement patterns, and physiological parameters. Machine learning algorithms analyze this data to detect signs of illness, injury, or stress in birds, enabling early intervention and preventive measures.

Waste Management: Automated waste management systems handle the collection, storage, and disposal of poultry litter, manure, and other organic waste. These systems use conveyors, augers, or automated carts to transport waste to designated storage or disposal areas. Automated waste management systems optimize cleanliness, minimize odors, and facilitate nutrient recycling or disposal in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Data Management and Decision Support: Automation technologies integrate with data management systems to collect, store, and analyze information on various aspects of poultry production. Decision support software uses real-time data from sensors, cameras, and other sources to provide farmers with insights, recommendations, and alerts for optimizing management practices, resource allocation, and production outcomes.

By leveraging robotics and automation technologies, poultry producers can streamline operations, improve efficiency, enhance animal welfare, and achieve sustainable and profitable production outcomes.

  • Decision Support Systems in poultry production

Decision Support Systems (DSS) play a crucial role in poultry production by providing farmers with valuable insights, recommendations, and data-driven tools to optimize management practices, resource allocation, and production outcomes. Here’s how DSS are utilized in poultry farming-

Data Collection and Integration: Decision Support Systems gather data from various sources within the poultry production system, including environmental sensors, feeding and watering systems, health monitoring devices, and production records. These systems integrate data from disparate sources into a centralized database for analysis and decision-making.

Data Analysis and Monitoring: DSS employ advanced analytics techniques, such as statistical analysis, machine learning, and predictive modeling, to analyze large volumes of data collected from poultry farms. By identifying patterns, trends, and correlations in the data, DSS generate insights into factors influencing production performance, such as environmental conditions, feed management practices, and health status.

Performance Monitoring and Benchmarking: Decision Support Systems monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to poultry production, such as growth rates, feed conversion ratios, mortality rates, egg production, and health status. These systems track performance metrics over time and compare them against historical data or industry benchmarks to assess productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation: DSS assess the risks and uncertainties associated with various aspects of poultry production, including disease outbreaks, feed shortages, market volatility, and environmental factors. By analyzing risk factors and potential impacts, DSS help farmers identify vulnerabilities and implement strategies to mitigate risks, such as biosecurity measures, insurance coverage, or contingency plans.

Feed Formulation and Management: Decision Support Systems optimize feed formulations and feeding strategies based on factors such as bird age, weight, genetic background, and nutritional requirements. These systems analyze feed composition, availability, and cost data to develop balanced feed rations that maximize growth rates, minimize feed wastage, and optimize feed efficiency.

Health Monitoring and Disease Management: DSS monitor bird health status and detect signs of illness or disease outbreaks using data from health monitoring devices, sensor networks, and diagnostic tests. These systems analyze health metrics, such as mortality rates, morbidity rates, and clinical symptoms, to identify potential health risks and guide disease management strategies, such as vaccination programs or treatment protocols.

Resource Allocation and Planning: Decision Support Systems assist farmers in allocating resources, such as labor, feed, water, and medication, efficiently across different aspects of poultry production. These systems optimize resource utilization based on production goals, budget constraints, and operational constraints, ensuring optimal use of available resources and maximizing returns on investment.

Decision Making and Optimization: DSS provide farmers with decision-making tools and optimization algorithms to support informed and data-driven decisions in various areas of poultry production. These tools help farmers evaluate alternative courses of action, assess their potential impact on production outcomes, and identify the most cost-effective and sustainable strategies for achieving desired goals.

Overall, Decision Support Systems empower poultry producers to make informed decisions, optimize management practices, and achieve improved performance, profitability, and sustainability in poultry production.


Currently the US and some nations in Europe are taking an experimental approach to AI implementation in poultry farming and management and the results have so far been satisfactory.

However, the adaption to AI in Indian poultry farm management is still now a distant dream considering the involvement of huge manpower resources engaged in the poultry sector alone. But, at the same time, the Indian Government is making a progressive approach to make upcoming AI strides in the Indian poultry industry to gain acknowledgment through small-scale initiatives that directly or indirectly impact the poultry industry. The Government of India is already working to promote a national AI strategy adoption framework to facilitate research and innovation in the poultry sector. Not to forget, the success of the Digital India Initiative to promote digital literacy for livestock farm owners and farmers, this will definitely help them to make informed decisions with AI implementation. Besides, the launch of several Government programs and initiatives to provide funding, mentorship, and incubation support to start-ups working on AI solutions, which could include technologies applicable to poultry farming.

Hopefully, slowly but steadily Indian poultry business is going to harness the full potential of artificial intelligence in the poultry industrywhich is going to unleash several promising arenas for India’s marginal poultry farmers and farm ownersThe future of AI in the poultry industry will be characterized by improved productivity, disease management, animal welfare, and sustainability. As AI technologies continue to advance and become more accessible, the Indian poultry industry can expect significant transformations that optimize efficiency, enhance decision-making, and foster sustainable practices.