PoultryUSA - October 2017 - 31
JUST AS DRONES ARE used in agriculture now, in the
future they may fly through a poultry house to apply a
treatment or vaccine.
boffi | shutterstock.com
"Water requirements [for farm animals] will be raised to
that of human quality drinking water," said Fabian.
I, chicken robot
Although it might appear like a dystopian science fiction movie, "No doubt robotics will be all
across the poultry business," assured Penz. It is likely
that the main issue will be efficiency. "Automation
and mechanization will be essential to permit cost
effective, controlled, repeatable and reliable production," emphasized Jassen Jackman, sales manager at
Vencomatic. "Artificial intelligence could interpret animal behavior in real-time, signal where intervention is
needed and order the unit/equipment to carry it out."
There will be further automation of feeder lines, allowing proper access and levels, plus automated height
adjustments. Automation of drinker line pressures
and consumption will be graphed to show hourly bird
consumption. "Future feeders and drinkers, as well as
supplements, may be administered in a ration manner,
where birds that have eaten will no longer have access
to feed," added LaPak.
Replacing wires with wireless or Bluetooth will be a
means to reduce installation, labor and maintenance costs,
explained Fabian. There is also potential in alternative
October 2017 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
concepts like heated floors, which would enable smarter
energy use while maintaining ideal floor temperature for
dry litter with less ammonia. On climate control systems,
LaPak said that they will continue to be automatic.
Robotics will also be more utilized for bird harvesting and mortality disposal. But all this "will have
to become far more animal welfare-oriented," said
Michel De Clercq, managing director of Petersime.
Drones, videos, microchips and biosecurity
Any tool that decreases manual intervention has
plenty of potential for the industry. For instance,
"Drones may fly through a house to apply a treatment
or vaccine," highlighted Vandi, or "Video monitoring
of bird activity will probably be required to exhibit
bird health and potential house equipment issues," added LaPak. Managing birds and making decisions from
a distance will be the rule. Drones can also be used to
stimulate birds and retrieve mortalities. And cameras,
in combination with heat and motion sensors, can alert
producers on the movement and condition of birds.
But this can go further: the use of small microchips
in birds to monitor bird health. LaPak thinks that data
acquisition could be made accessible to the public, and
clear indications of producers may be made available