Eurotier is the best place to check out the latest poultry innovations. The huge scale of the event at Hanover last month, with thousands of poultry products on show, can seem bewildering, but the best place to start is with gold and silver medal winners.
Out of the four gold and 13 silver medals awarded by the independent panel, the poultry sector claimed one of each colour. German equipment manufacturer Big Dutchman claimed the top spot with its EggCam system (pictured), designed to count eggs and assess them for dirt using a video sensor.
Previously, eggs were counted mechanically or electronically on collection with little or no checking of weight and quality. Soiled eggs were only roughly checked and, if appropriate, separated out by hand.
But with the new system, producers can determine egg weight by weighing eggs on collection and rapidly identify soiled eggs plus those with shell defects. Big Dutchman points out that with this data, producers can identify problem areas in individual housing compartments of the shed.
The silver medal went to Dutch egg handling specialist Moba for its new system for loading eggs on to its grading and packing lines (pictured).
Loading eggs on to rollers is traditionally an obstacle to higher capacities, but the Moba FL 500 overcomes this, achieving a capacity of 500 cases per hour.
Traditional movements have been replaced by a mechanically-driven movement that is able to place the eggs on the moving roller conveyor while the suction head moves for a short period at the same speed as the roller conveyor.
Field tests have shown that the high throughput and hygienic design does not compromise optimal egg handling. Moba expects to have the system available in early 2009.
A LOOK AT THE REST
Bridex: VDL Breeder Pan
The new pan feeder from Bridex is designed to achieve high productivity while at the same time maintain simplicity of feed distribution to the birds.
It is suitable for use with 45mm straight line (auger) and 60mm circular (disc chain) systems. Bridex believes the conveying speed of the disc chain in combination with the storage capacity of the 60mm tube makes this system unbeatable compared with any other system for simultaneous feed supply to the pans.
Fancom has introduced a new line of energy-efficient fans. The I-fan series (pictured) of complete and modular fans come with diameters of between 35 and 80cm (13.7 and 31.5in). A larger 92cm (36.2in) diameter built-in version is also available.
Fancom claims the I-fan can yield energy savings of up to 75%. Even compared with the current energy-efficient systems employing frequency control, energy savings of 15% are feasible.
Tulderhof: Flexible Air Shutter
This flexible air shutter features specially-designed, adjustable spoilers that steer the air independent of the amount used. Producers can even steer the air from particular inlets in a different direction to the others.
Tulderhof believes its inlet is particularly useful in various difficult situations, such as very wide houses (over 30m) or sheds containing obstructions to good airflow.
Termin-8 (pictured) is a liquid anti-microbial bactericide which kills salmonella, reduces mould and lowers total bacterial levels in feeds and feed ingredients.
The product keeps working in the feed for at least 28 days, helping to prevent reinfection with salmonella, E coli and clostridia.
Demand has soared since its launch because increasing legislation and rising energy costs are forcing feed manufacturers to focus on cost-effective alternatives to heat treatment to reduce the risk of salmonella infection in feed.
TPI Polytechniek: Motorised inlet valve
Air inlet valves are often controlled by motor winches which are connected to a climate computer system. By means of a main cable or wire system, pulleys, cords, etc, the inlets are opened and closed. But there are some situations where it is difficult to install or the number of inlets is too small to justify the cords, pulleys and cables.
To address this, TPI Polytechniek has developed a new air inlet valve with an incorporated small motor that directly can be controlled by the climate computer. “It is easy and quick to install and the motor was specifically designed for the valve,” said the company. The system will be available by mid-2009.
Pas Reform: Smart Tray
The Dutch incubator specialist’s SmartTray is specifically designed to enhance the comfort of embryos during the critical phase of incubation and allows free movement of air for the uniform distribution of heat and humidity.
It supports hatching eggs at two levels and is suitable for large and small eggs, with specially-shaped support points to fit all egg sizes. The trays are ideal for in-ovo vaccination and are robust able to withstand temperature changes and weight load for the lifetime of the tray.
The new FarmOnline management tool enables poultry producers to retain an overview of their large production units.
The system incorporates a live connection to all house computers at the poultry unit. The system makes it possible for producers to react immediately to an alarm and, if required, change the house computer setup, via FarmOnline, from anywhere in the world.
As Stig Jørgensen, marketing manager at SKOV explains, a quick reaction to any problem that triggers an alarm may ensure the welfare of the animals is maintained, as well as reducing or completely preventing any financial losses from the problem.