8 new products to enhance layer and broiler performance

Chicks in a poultry shed

Agribed © Veolia

Margins are under pressure like never before in the poultry sector, which faces high input costs and static prices, and some businesses are operating at a loss.

Could it be the right time, then, to trial innovations that have been developed with improved performance in mind, to double down on cost control?

From technology that can analyse a bird’s gut microbiome to bedding made from paper crumb, there is a good range of new products aimed at driving performance. We’ve picked eight that caught our eye.

See also: 4 ways poultry technology can help tackle rising costs

1. Agribed

Poultry bedding is a growth industry in the UK where annual demand is estimated to be 240,000t.

Veolia has launched a new kiln-dried paper crumb product made using discarded fibre from the pulping processes at paper and cardboard mills in the north-east and west of England.

The composition and pH of the crumb is said to reduce ammonia levels and the incidence of pododermatitis.

The used litter could potentially be used in biomass boilers to generate heat for the poultry unit.

Agribed is marketed under Veolia’s Arden brand and is approved for use as poultry bedding by Defra, the Environment Agency and Red Tractor.

Price About £115/t plus haulage

Contact stephanie.kerr@veolia.com

2. Galleon Microbiome Intelligence

This analysis tool has been developed for broiler producers to establish what impact the gut microbiome has on bird performance.

The theory is that if producers have a better understanding of the microbiome, they can make informed decisions about formulations for their flocks’ diet.

According to Cargill, the profile of microorganisms living in the gut, or microbiota in a bird’s intestines, is an important driver of flock performance.

When signing up to Galleon Microbiome Intelligence, the farmer is given a kit with sterile swabs to collect faecal samples from the cloaca of a sample number of birds, and these are analysed at a laboratory.

The farmer is then given a report with advice and recommendations for management and nutrition.

The data can be used to monitor how birds react to changes in raw materials, diet formulation, feed additives, vaccination programmes and management protocols.

Price on application Cargill says price agreements with customers are confidential

Contact www.cargill.com/page/cargill-contact-us

3. Oxsano tunnel fan

Industrial fan

© Roxell

A big selling point for Roxell’s high-efficiency tunnel fan is its economical energy use, which is thanks to its aerodynamic fan blade and flexible control.

Laboratory tests have shown a high speed airflow of 27,000cu ft/min and an energy consumption of 21.5cu ft/min per watt – significantly above the normal recommended value of 20cu ft, says the manufacturer.

Its motor can adjust the speed to the required load, so energy is only used when it is needed.

Price Depends on model and type of house fan it is being installed in

Contact www.roxell.com/distributors?location=GB

4. iHotraco

Poultry automation firm Hotraco Agri has launched this new system to collect, organise and share poultry farm data.

iHotraco allows the operator to remotely monitor everything from feed and water to climate control and lighting. 

The more data collected, the more insight a farmer can gain to inform flock management.

Price Depends on scale of flock and which features are included

Contact p.deumens@hotraco.com 

5. Agrivite mineral pecking blocks

Agrivite mineral pecking blocks have been developed by Interhatch to deter feather pecking and provide birds with enrichment in their environment.

The product, which comes in different size blocks, differs from many other pecking blocks with its high mineral content that offers enhanced nutritional benefits.

Eacvh block is supplied with a custom-built hanger to make it more accessible, and is extra hard to help it last longer.

Price About £10.45 ex VAT for a 5kg block

Contact www.interhatch.com

6. D-Mite

As every poultry farmer knows only too well, red mite infestations have become a major challenge in the past decade – so much so that only a minority of flocks are free from this harmful parasite.

Control is big business for the supply industry, and there are many different products on the market. One of the more recent ones is D-Mite from Cargill.

Trials on 500,000 layers with varying red mite infestation levels showed a reduction in infestations across all units, with the most significant improvements seen in moderately infested units.

There was also shown to be no impact on feed or drink intake, or on the taste and smell of eggs.

This powder can be added to hens’ drinking water or included in their feed. It has approval to be used in organic egg production systems.

Price on application

Contact béatrice_payoux@cargill.com

7. Monitoring Paste

Blocks of paste shrink-wrapped in plastic

Monitoring Paste © BASF

Manufacturer BASF has launched Monitoring Paste to identify early signs of rodent infestations.

The idea is that when rodent activity is suspected but not confirmed, a couple of these non-toxic blocks are placed in a bait station to get vermin used to coming into the box and eating the paste.

Pest controllers can then work out which bait stations are busy and which aren’t. In stations where vermin have been visiting, the blocks are removed and replaced with bait.

BASF says this provides a more efficient way to monitor and control a pest issue, as rodents will instantly switch from the Monitoring Paste to the sister chemical product, which has the same food base.

Monitoring Paste comes in 14g soft blocks with a pre-drilled hole that allows them to be secured in place on a spike in the bait box.

Price About £25 plus VAT for a 3kg tub

Contact laurence.barnard@basf.com

8. My Poultry Manager

Mobile phone with My Poultry Manager app on screen

My Poultry Manager © Bivatec

This app is designed to override manual record-keeping by tracking everything from feeding programmes and egg production to vaccinations and farm cashflow, to help farmers manage their flocks and businesses.

Among the many useful features is the ability to monitor both feed consumption and egg output.

The farmer receives visual reports on egg production and feed purchases and use, which can help identify the breeds that are performing best. It also keeps track of sales and expenses.

For farms with a poor internet connection, the good news is that this app doesn’t rely on internet access. The data it generates can also be shared across multiple devices.

Price £67.77 inc VAT annual subscription fee

Contact support@bivatec.com