MS Graduate Assistantship in Poultry Behavior and Welfare
Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University
East Lansing, USA
The graduate student will be part of projects examining the impact of using precision livestock farming
technologies to detect and intervene in problematic hen behaviors in the litter area of cage-free systems.
The student will focus specifically on examining responses of hens to the intervention strategies,
including behaviors, fear responses, and physical parameters associated with welfare. The student will
be involved in the development of data collection protocols, data collection, and analysis of data.
Behavioral data will be collected via direct observation and from video recordings and will be used to
determine how the detection and intervention strategies impact hen behavior.
The project will involve collaboration with colleagues working in animal science, computer science and
engineering at MSU and Clemson. The graduate student will be expected to collaborate with a project
technician, farm personnel and other graduate students. The student will also supervise undergraduate
students working on the research project both on farm and in the lab. The graduate student will be
instrumental in collecting data on farm and in assisting with management practices like egg collection.
In addition to the primary research responsibilities described above, the student will be able to
participate in other activities such as: the collegiate animal welfare judging competition, assisting with
teaching of courses (and development of instructional skills), presentation of findings at scientific
conferences and industry meetings, and grant writing.