Poultry farming business still remains one of the most solid segments of the animal husbandry industry. It is characteristic for poultry farming to encounter hurdles here and there. Often time it is due to sudden surges in operating costs. This can stem from rising feed costs, energy costs, and distribution costs. Regardless, poultry farming always remains relevant and profitable. Innovation has been the common feature of all industries over the years. There are entirely new industries that have emerged due to innovation. Farming as a whole is one industry that has seen lots of innovation. Let us take a look at some of the latest innovations in poultry farming.
SMART Poultry Management
SMART here stands for self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology. There are innovations where what traditionally used to be done manually is now being done automatically. It is basically the use of internet of things (IoT) systems in running poultry farming projects. This entails new age or emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. For instance, the monitoring and regulation of gas levels and temperature can now be governed by sensors. If the air temperature drops or spikes from a particular threshold, the air-conditioning can kick in automatically.
Feeding and drinking of poultry can now be done using a fully automated system. Even waste management can now be done using a system of automated belts that periodically move, eradicating poultry droppings. Other systems entail camera surveillance which can be accessed and controlled remotely. This means a farmer can check and if anything needs to be done they can do so remotely. There are countless features such systems can have in managing one’s poultry housing environment.
Culling By Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering entails the practice or science of genetic modification. This is being applied in so many ways in poultry farming business. One of the most ground-breaking applications is singling out male birds. The thing is female birds produce eggs and thus leads to the much-needed numbers. Plus female birds are also notable for their exceptional growth rate and weight gain. Typically female birds grow faster and bigger than male birds. That is why female birds are much more preferable. Genetic engineering is now being used to mark male eggs before they are even laid.
Essentially what happens is a particular genetic marker is implanted into the female birds. That genetic marker only attaches itself to male eggs. Once the eggs are laid, a special scanner can be used to single out the male eggs. This means the male eggs will not be unnecessarily taken through the incubation process. This makes poultry farming more efficient because there will be no need for culling later. This innovation is not yet widespread but soon it will be a mainstream thing.
NB: Bear in mind that there are also innovative approaches to this that are done after the eggs are laid. For instance, specialized precision equipment is being used to analyse samples of laid poultry eggs. The analysis done can conclusively tell whether or not an egg will hatch into a male or female.
Using Robotics And Drones To Replicate Mundane Tasks
There are a number of poultry farming tasks that are mundane. For instance, it can be checking and protecting your birds against predators. It can be checking your birds to see if they are active enough to promote metabolic processes. Manually you would have to stir up the birds to move around if they are too docile. These are just some few examples of things that can be done better by robots and drones. Either or both of these can be used to monitor and protect the birds. Early detection of diseases or physical injuries on the birds is being with robots and drones. Special robots are being programmed to periodically stir the birds to move around. Drones and robots are being used to even provide protection against human intruders.
Virtual Reality (VR)And Augmented Reality (AR) To Limit People Visiting A Poultry Farm
In poultry farming business, biosecurity is paramount. Biosecurity here refers to the protection of your poultry against harm from diseases or human exploitation. One way to ensure biosecurity is by limiting access to your poultry farm or space. What then happens if there are important people who want to tour the poultry farm? What if you want to pitch to a team of investors? How about even when you want someone to remotely tour the poultry farm? There are many scenarios that usually necessitate many people physically accessing the poultry farm. Some poultry farmers are limiting access by the use of virtual and augmented reality. Poultry farming training initiatives for workers or others are also being effectively done off-site.
Data Analytics In Trend Analysis
Data analytics is the examination of collected data to draw insights and conclusions. Some key data analytics software being used now is Microsoft Power BI and Tableau. There are also custom-written or off-the-shelf data analytics tools. Most of the innovations we have discussed (and more) involve lots of data collection. This data can become invaluable if used to come up with decisions and strategies. The data can be analysed using special software, even in real-time, to make sense of many metrics.
There is no end to the things you can collect data on and analyse. Some of the broad areas data analytics is being essential to are poultry health, poultry performance, and their general behaviours. One of the most important things data analytics is providing poultry farmers is trends. This is helping them draw insights that inform you on how to manage future batches of poultry. For instance, they can make sense of why the birds have been growing only up to a particular threshold.
These are some of the latest innovations in poultry farming business. There are other innovations that are still in their initial stages. For example, the use of blockchain for traceability purposes in the supply and value chain. We shall continue to see more and more innovations coming up in poultry farming.