seagameslist|Across China: AI transforms poultry farming in China's mountainous village

super2024-06-28 19:18:1810News

Chicken farm owner Xu Qiyong and students of the Tencent Class of Shenzhen University observe the black-feathered and black-boned Silkie chicken in Tiantaishan Village in Chishui City in southwest China's Guizhou Provinceseagameslist, Janseagameslist. 27, 2024. (Photo by Cheng Yihui/Xinhua)

GUIYANG, June 27 (Xinhua) -- In a remarkable advancement in China's technology sector, consumers of Chishui Silkie chickens will soon be able to monitor how their "foster chicken" -- the one ultimately destined for their dinner table -- is fed and raised on remote farms, all from their mobile phones.

Xu Qiyong, owner of a chicken farm in Tiantaishan Village in Chishui City in southwest China's Guizhou Province, has conceived a new application based on an AI-based smart breeding system.

The technology, developed by Tencent Cloud and students of the Tencent Class of Shenzhen University -- a program launched by the university and tech giant Tencent -- has been installed on Xu's farm, spanning 256 sheds spread across 1,000 mu (about 66.67 hectares) of bamboo-covered hillside.

Managing flocks of free-roaming chickens across such a vast farm came as a challenge for breeders, with predators like wild dogs posing a threat and occasional infections potentially leading to massive outbreaks before they could be detected.

The AI-based system has transformed the poultry farm in terms of mitigating disease outbreaks, keeping the chickens safe from attacks by wild animals and boosting the share of chickens finally delivered to butcher houses by about 30 percent.

In Xu's farm, every chicken has a chip affixed to its leg which serves as a pedometer, detecting early signs of disease by identifying inactive chickens.

The chicken farm is also equipped with surveillance sensors that continuously monitor intrusions by wild dogs or breaches in the fence in real time, Xu explained, noting that he plans to launch the "foster chicken" application in July.

seagameslist|Across China: AI transforms poultry farming in China's mountainous village

Chishui boasts a long history of breeding black-feathered and black-boned Silkie chickens, prized for their amino acid-rich meat and eggs, which are increasingly sought after by health-conscious consumers.

Xu, a seasoned media professional, quit his job at the end of 2022 and leased the chicken farm to start his own business. His confidence in the industry was reinforced by the fact that Chishui -- a city home to 1 million mu of bamboo forests -- is committed to developing a non-timber forest-based economy.

Xu reached out to Tencent for potential cooperation after learning about AI-enabled goose breeding carried out by the same team in Shenzhen, leading to a successful partnership deal.

Since implementing AI technology on his farm last year, Xu has already sold around 100,000 Silkie chickens and 300,000 eggs.

The AI-powered Silkie chicken breeding project has even garnered attention from outside China, as the developer team has received inquiries from research institutes in Pakistan and ranchers in Australia, according to Feng Yuhong of the College of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Shenzhen University.

At present, the Tencent Cloud and students of the Tencent Class of Shenzhen University, in partnership with Guizhou University as well as other institutes, are developing a large language model for poultry breeding, including a question-and-answer database based on the large language model that can assist breeders in navigating through various challenges.

Feng said the team also plans to enact an industry-wide standard for digitalized and intelligent breeding of poultry based on the large language model which can help expand the market reach for more poultry breeds like the Silkie chickens in Chishui.

A chicken farm equipped with cameras is seen in Tiantaishan Village in Chishui City in southwest China's Guizhou Province, April 25, 2024. (Photo by Cheng Yihui/Xinhua)

Students of the Tencent Class of Shenzhen University set up AI systems at a chicken farm in Tiantaishan Village in Chishui City in southwest China's Guizhou Province, June 27, 2023. (Photo by Cheng Yihui/Xinhua)

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