Poultry farming has traditionally been one of the most challenging industries for farmers to navigate. With flock sizes reaching into the hundreds of thousands of birds in the largest operations, the industry demands are huge. From biosecurity, compliance, and disease control to welfare standards and on-time delivery of poultry products, the range of areas that need attention is staggering. But, with the advent of digital transformation, the scenario has changed dramatically, and poultry farmers now have the tools to better manage their flocks and their businesses. As technology continues to evolve and farmers further embrace digital solutions, they can become more efficient, productive, and profitable.
It has never been easier for farmers to leverage technology for better decision-making on-farm, more efficient resource utilisation, and stronger real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities. This has resulted in a new era of possibilities for farmers to transform their operations, and even more critically, provide better care for their birds.
Whilst agritech is positively influencing the poultry industry in many ways, those areas that are showing significant benefits are:
- Enabling improved welfare standards and meet compliance and assurance scheme codes
Digital farm management systems allow farmers to track the growth of their flocks, monitor behaviour, and regulate the environment in the poultry house. This data helps to manage and optimise the birds’ feed, water, light, and temperature levels, ensuring the chickens are getting what they need to stay healthy and grow. With technology doing a lot of the heavy lifting, farmers are making best use of their time resources and funds.
Not only do these digital systems help farmers ensure that their birds are healthy, they can also help them keep on top of all compliance and regulation issues. Through automatic reminders, integrated checklists and protocols, these systems can take away the stress and hard work of keeping on top of evolving legislation and compliance protocols. Through their utilisation, farmers are better able to safeguard the welfare of their birds and workers.
- More stringent biosecurity practices
Biosecurity is an essential aspect of farming and poultry is no exception. However, bird-keepers, of whatever size, face a unique challenge. Bird behaviour makes them especially difficult to control in terms of their behaviour and movements. Add in the size and scale of some commercial flocks, and the extent of the challenge becomes obvious. Any disease incursion in these environments can spread like wildfire, affecting thousands of birds at a stroke, and dramatically impacting a business in the click of a finger. As such, effective biosecurity protocols, or their absence, can make or break a business.
Digital transformation has revolutionised biosecurity practices by offering remote and automated biosecurity checks. In addition, farmers can benefit from features such as the ability to track visitors, control farm access, conduct regular health monitoring, and inspect birds to ensure they are in good health, making effective and comprehensive biosecurity more achievable than ever before.
- Improved response times to disease outbreaks
Speed of response is fundamental in preventing a disease outbreak from spreading further within a poultry farm or to neighbouring businesses. Through agritech solutions, farmers can access real-time information on regional disease outbreaks and local spread, thus accelerating their responses and allowing more time to spend on defences in the face of the advancing threat to their properties.
Farmers can leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence, through symptom recognition, to get early warning of potential disease spread in their flocks. This ability will help indicate whether a bird might be suffering from a notifiable condition, and indicate what the most suitable courses of treatment or action might be. Early warning like this can save days of wondering and inaction, ensuring that isolated cases do not develop.
- Better prepared in case the worst happens through effective contingency planning
In conclusion, digital transformation has changed the way poultry farmers operate and it is crucial for farmers to understand and embrace the benefits technology provides to their business. Using it to implement effective contingency plans ensures a swift, orderly, and systematic response to any disease critical situation, helping farmers operate with minimal disruption.
Poultry farmers have the technological tools they need to increase profitability, streamline their operations, and better safeguard their birds and workers. However, as the technology, and farmers’ use of it continues to mature, this will only increase, meaning that poultry farmers can confidently look forward to a less turbulent future.
Introducing the Livetec Systems App
To support access to technological advancements, Livetec has launched a new app, giving poultry farmers across the UK a single point of knowledge for the critical information they need to proactively protect their birds. The Livetec Systems App contains a range of features designed to enhance farmers awareness and response to disease prevention, like:
- Near real-time disease outbreak notifications
- Protection and Surveillance Zone alerts
- Requirements within zones
- Reporting of suspicious symptoms
- A historical avian influenza outbreak timeline
- Wild bird avian influenza map
Download the Livetec Systems App now to get access to these insightful features.