An interesting scheme has emerged from New Zealand via Farmers Weekly web producer Ashley Marriott – virtual reality helmets for for chickens.
The helmets form part of a complete package for indoor layers, giving chickens access to simulated range using computerised goggles, underfoot treadmills and “light pipes” that pump sunshine into cages giving access to natural light and keeping vitamin D levels up.
“Eliminating the need for the physical space required for free-range livestock our Virtual Free Range gives livestock the experience of Free Range life while in the safe confines of our facility,” the company, Second Livestock, says.
It’s slick website is full of buzzwords and management phrases that lend the idea much credibility. “Profound Innovation”, “New Distribution Model”, and “Animal-Centred Design” to name just a few.
Indeed, the Forager was almost convinced into making an order, and installing his back-garden chooks in the airing cupboard, until just after the picture had finished loading.