Poultry is one of the most consumed meats in the world with estimates suggesting that, globally, this amount could reach nearly 160 kilotons within the next ten years.
Whilst diet diversification is inevitable, there is still a need for the globe’s poultry farmers to work more efficiently, and ethically, if they are to meet consumer needs.
Today, with advancements in technology, farmers can predict future outcomes and optimise their operations to deliver better results using data and analytics.
The challenge for agriculture – as it is for society as a whole – is what to do and how to manage the vast quantities of data that are collected every single second of every minute of every day. The pay-off is significant, however, as the collection, analysis and application of data can help farmers better understand their flocks, identify opportunities for improvement and optimise the allocation of resources.
So how can poultry farmers harness the power of data to benefit their animals and their farm business?
Data on poultry housing
Sensors placed throughout farm buildings can provide valuable environmental data to farmers. Details such as temperature, humidity rates and lighting levels in poultry houses can be available at a glance. The ability to control these levels through hand-held devices and apps also allows the farmer the ability to optimise the living conditions for the birds.
This automation, based on data insights, helps limit the need for the birds to be handled, reducing stress and improving overall animal welfare. Gathering such data can be done using apps such as Farm Health Guardian.
Data on poultry feeding, water consumption and growth
Automated feed systems – particularly in larger farm operations – produce a wealth of data that can be of huge value to the farmer. The systems themselves can ensure a suitable amount of feed and water is distributed evenly, reducing wastage and saving costs.
By integrating an automated system with data collection and analysis tools, farmers are then able to analyse feed intake patterns, identify trends and make adjustments accordingly to ensure uniform bird growth. Data that indicates a reduction in consumption could also be an early-warning indicator of disease incursion.
Data from cameras
In-shed cameras are an invaluable data source for poultry farmers who are managing large flocks across multiple sheds. Like the automated feed systems, they reduce the need for physical interactions with farmers, reducing handling and the subsequent stress.
The real benefit of this data, however, is that it allows farmers and keepers the ability to monitor the behavioural patterns of their birds. Observable changes in how they sit, stand and walk can help detect the early signs of injury, pest infestation or disease. In addition, the use of infrared cameras to detect unexpected changes in body temperature are helping farmers get early notice of disease and maximising the chances of saving their flocks.
Bringing together the observable data from cameras and cross-referencing it with quantifiable insights from shed sensors help to give the modern farmer optimum oversight of the health and efficiency of their birds.
Data to help forcast animal health issues
Data can also be leveraged beyond simply diagnostic processes. To really minimise the impact of disease, the intention is to accurately predict and solve problems before they occur and agricultural data can help with this also.
Through thousands of years of evolution and experience, farmers have been able to predict much about their farming operations – through weather forecasts, crop-health and so on, generations of farmers have successfully made predictions that help their farming operations.
In the data-rich present, however, these predictions are taken to the next level.
Predictive analytic tools are those that help farmers anticipate health issues before they occur. By combining data from the types of sensors mentioned above, but on a global scale, models can predict future outcomes enabling farmers to be far more proactive and efficient in areas such as adjusting diets or managing environmental conditions.
Data on historical patterns of the spread of disease
Historical data can aid in developing effective strategies for mitigating the impact of a disease outbreak. By analysing data from past outbreaks, we can identify patterns, risk factors, and potential solutions to better protect our livestock from future outbreaks.
Complementing this is the ability to access real-time data on any disease outbreak. The sooner bird-keepers are made aware of confirmed cases in their area, the sooner they are able to respond and put in additional measures for the protection of their birds. Modern technology puts this powerful data in the palm of the farmer’s hand – and this can be done easily with the Livetec Systems App.
Data on wild bird movements
Wild birds, especially waterfowl like ducks and geese, are the main cause of spreading deadly diseases like avian influenza. The analysis of historic migration patterns helps predict future outbreaks as migrating birds easily mix with domestic birds and pass on disease.
Knowing these patterns can help farmers and keepers in these areas be forewarned and take the extra necessary precautions they need to best protect their birds. Explore this ability now, for free with the Livetec Systems App.
Data to inform marketing and pricing
Leveraging market data can give farmers insights into pricing, consumer trends, and supply chain demands. Farmers can use this data to make informed decisions on what they should produce, how they should price their products, and where they should sell. For instance, they can optimise the timing of their production to coincide with market demand, so they can maximise profit.
How Livetec is helping to manage critical data
Technology and data do not stand still. And neither do we. Livetec Systems want to understand your business so we can further develop data tools and apps that help you gain a greater understanding of your flock and their welfare. Helping you optimise operations and increase productivity and profitability.
Download the Livetec Systems App today:
Download on Google Play here.
Download on Apple Store here.
Alternatively find out more about Livetec’s products and services click here.