Companies supplying the poultry industry are rarely short of innovative new products. Jake Davies provides a round-up of the latest on the market.
A new feeding pan for broilers from livestock equipment manufacturer Roxell offers a novel mechanism that promises easy cleaning for enhanced biosecurity.
The pan is low enough to afford chicks access to feed in their early days, but is designed to prevent birds climbing in to sleep or defecate in their feed – both undesirable habits.
When it comes to cleaning, a patented “one-click” system exposes all components of the pan for cleaning, according to Roxell – from the inside of the cone to the pan itself.
Robotics are more commonly associated with Japan than Cwmbran, but about one firm is trying to change that. RMGroup has developed a mechanical arm that can move 570 eggs a minute from the end of a grading line to the pallet.
The system is a standard palletising robot with a bespoke gripper head that is manufactured to pick up egg trays along with their dividing sheets.
It can identify existing contours in the trays, while sensors detect when they are safely in situ before the arm moves away, “eliminating” the risk of breakages.
One customer, a free-range egg unit in mid-Wales, was able to save more than £10,000 a year in labour costs, as the newly automated packing line can now be operated by one person.
Chemical hygiene outfit Kilco has launched a bedding powder that, the firm says, will improve the longevity of litter.
Envirex is designed to complement the company’s “existing product and hygiene protocol services”. In simple terms, it is an absorbent fine clay-like substance that will remove moisture from bedding.
Absorbency is not its only trick, however. The powder has Kilco’s biocicdal product Virex at a 2% inclusion, which offers “broad spectrum activity against major viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens”.
Roxell says the introduction of its Quad Glow heater is an “important step in the product development strategy” for the firm.
It is a gas-powered heater designed for poultry sheds, but rather than using an open flame or conventional indirect heating, it converts the warmth produced by burning LPG into infra-red, which is then projected on to the floor of the shed.
Roxell says this method is 25% more efficient than a conventional gas-fired system.
It adds that the infra-red energy heats a wider floor area – and a square shaped one at that, matching the dimensions of a poultry shed.
If an electric fence protecting your range is compromised, it may not be long before Monsieur Reynard makes a meal of a poultry flock.
To combat this, a new electric fencing system will automatically text a phone whenever a fault is detected with the power supply. It is available as either a mains connected or a battery-powered unit.
The text is made possible because it is connected to a mobile phone of sorts.
Farmers working on the line can also turn it off by text so, for example, if you spot a problem at the furthest reach of a range, you need not traipse back to the control unit to cut the power.
Vencomatic says its new Bolegg Gallery aviary system offers an environment that allows birds to exhibit natural behaviour – and stockmen an easy life.
It is designed to use vertical space to maximise the floor area of the shed, and with an open structure in mind, for easy inspection. A winchable back wall can be lifted to view nestboxes, also helping cleaning and red mite treatments.
The version on general release has three tiers, with nest boxes and egg collection belts on each. Each nestbox also incorporates Vencomatic’s “tipping floor” system, which expels hens when they have laid an egg, preventing broody birds and mucky nests.