Development of a Nursery Pen Image Capturing Device to Classify Approachability of Nursery Pigs

  • Shawna Weimer (Iowa State University)
  • Anna K. Johnson (Iowa State University)
  • Howard D. Tyler (Iowa State University)
  • Kenneth J. Stalder (Iowa State University)
  • Locke A. Karriker (Iowa State University)
  • Thomas Fangman (Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.)


The objective of this experiment was to build a mobile structure that could take digital pictures simultaneously with live observation to record pigs’ behavior. The digital pen image capturing device specifications (position in pen, height and camera angle) were based on the dimensions of the nursery pens at Lauren Christian Swine Research Center at the Iowa State University Bilsland Memorial Farm, near Madrid, IA where an approachability experiment was to be conducted. The nursery pen dimensions were 1.5 m wide by 2.1 m length and the ceiling height was 2.6 m. The digital pen image capturing device had a steel base that held a 1.6 m tall PVC pipe and at the top of the pipe a PVC T held a tripod head that secured the digital camera. The definition of successfully capturing the nursery pen was a digital image that included four sticky notes that would be positioned in each corner of the pen. Each sticky note measured 7.6 cm length by 7.6 cm width.

Three device positions (left, right and center back), three device heights (1.5 m, 1.8 m, and 2.1 m) and a continuum of tripod head angles (ranging from 0 to 60 degrees were tested. The final specifications for the digital pen image capturing device was: a height of 1.8 m, a tripod head angle of 35 degrees and a back right corner position.

Keywords: ASL R2729

How to Cite:

Weimer, S., Johnson, A. K., Tyler, H. D., Stalder, K. J., Karriker, L. A. & Fangman, T., (2012) “Development of a Nursery Pen Image Capturing Device to Classify Approachability of Nursery Pigs”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 9(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-625

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Published on
01 Jan 2012
Peer Reviewed