It is commonly known that poultry meat production worldwide has been on the rise for the past years to meet the global demand, and many farm managers and veterinarians are required to overcome the challenges related to poultry farming in order to maximize their operation's productivity. Some of these challenges include flock mortality rate (influenced by the quality of genetic lines cultivation, nutrition and growing conditions) and a decrease in labor-force meanwhile minimizing the environmental impacts of animal husbandry, ensuring human health and addressing the public's rising concern for improving animal welfare.
One of the latest trends in the poultry farming industry is implementing ‘Precision Livestock Farming’ technologies to improve production processes. The constant development of new technologies is gaining momentum to support livestock management by providing new tools for monitoring and controlling farm productivity. This means that more farms are turning to digital technologies for converting data into a deeper status understanding in order to develop effective strategies with verifiable improvements.
Digitalizing flock's health can be achieved through:
Constant monitoring of parameters affecting flock’s health and productivity (i.e. feed & water intake, bird & egg weight, body temperature, clucking, climate & ventilation, immunity etc.).
Integration of intelligent sensors and systems that are used to collect the data, which is analyzed using specialized BI software and presented through visual dashboards and reports.
Technology implementation which enables farmers to use preventative measures and reduce the use of medication, thus improving flock’s health and productivity.
This era is considered as the 'Information age in poultry farming', when more and more modern poultry operations are implementing technology and on-farm computers to access automatically collected data for ensuring optimal production levels. However, data must be regularly collected and timely interpreted into insights and actionable solutions, to achieve improved productivity and margins. Therefore, in order to be effective, technology must be accompanied by an intelligent BI platform for data analysis through customizable dashboards and reports. This ensures focused attention on performance, informed decision making and complete control and transparency to management.
Lately we see that farm managers and veterinarians are turning to technology for improving flock immunity since biosecurity measures (i.e. isolating flock from exposure to harmful pathogens) have their limitations and as the world shifts to preference of preventative measures upon use of medication in treatment of disease outbreaks – technology plays a crucial role. Nowadays, vaccination is considered the most effective disease prevention strategy, especially influenced by the vaccine's quality, the adequacy of the vaccination program and ensuring its proper administration. This is the reason why flock vaccination using a manual syringe is considered a “black box”, since it is hard to monitor and ensure that the influential parameters are met in order to optimize the outcome.
So how can poultry operations achieve proper vaccine administration? The most effective way is using an automatic injector, like pHi-Tech, that provides real-time feedback to operators, thus enabling operators to re-administer a missed shot. Furthermore, vaccination team leaders can track and monitor each operator’s performance and ensure they are properly administering each injection. Finally, veterinarians and farm managers can analyze the vaccination process results from anywhere without having to wait three weeks to for the serology test results.
Here are some more benefits associated with technology incorporation in flock vaccination:
When an operator knows their work is being measured, they will usually perform better injections.
Team leaders can set the required parameters for the vaccination program and send it simultaneously to multiple operator devices to ensure its accuracy.
Veterinarians and farm managers can advance from perception to knowledge by analyzing data to understand the causes for reduced flock immunity and add certainty in their decision-making process.