Barcode On The Beak

Identification technology is raising its head again, or I should say, moving in the poultry industry with identification on the beak. Irish scientists now have a method of identifying chickens by applying a miniature barcode on a chicken’s beak and legs.

Researchers have achieved 97 percent accuracy on identifying individual bird parts with barcodes, according to statistics from their work at UCD Bioresources Research Centre. This is nothing new or the team of scientists, who last year discovered by could identify individual sheep by their eyes and cattle by muzzle patters. They also believe they can identify hens by their comb pattern.

Who knew, but hens have individual comb patterns. It’s probably a good thing because chickens do not have fingerprints.

The researchers developed specific biometric algorithms to isolate the comb, using mathematical modeling techniques. The group opted for barcodes for chickens, experimenting with two types of barcodes, a miniature linear barcode such as those found in department stores and a two-dimensional data matrix barcode.

The barcode scanner is used to assess its accuracy, speed and reliability in keeping track of the farm animals. Results were promising with the touted 97 percent accuracy rate.

It won’t be long before you and I are asked to offer a body part for a barcode or RFID tag. Surely, someone will want to keep track of us. Also, important to know, is that no animals were hurt or injured during this research.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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