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New Era of Sustainable Poultry Production: Precision Farming

New Era of Sustainable Poultry Production: Precision Farming

Rokade, J.J., Sky, Monika M., Landge Rajan, & Tiwari A.K.

ICAR-Central Avian Research institute, Bareilly, U.P. 243122

 

Introduction

Since ages, India is one among the top countries to produce poultry, which contributes approximately 1% to the national GDP and 25% to the livestock sector with an annual growth rate of 8 – 10 %. The awareness pertaining to the protein intake, nutritive value of eggs and meat could be the driving factors to shoot up the increased meat consumption in India. The current per capita availability of eggs and meat is 90 eggs and 3.9kg meat against the ICMR recommended consumption of 180 eggs and 11kg meat respectively per annum per person is half of what is available (Annual report DADH 2021).With a growth rate of 7.8% from the prior year, poultry meat makes for over 50% of the nation's total meat production, yielding 4.06 million tonnes of meat. (BAHS, 2019). According to the 2019 (20th livestock) census, the poultry industry is quickly growing, with a 16.81% rise from the 19th census and a population of 851.81 million. In poultry feed, maize is the premier ingredient of all other which is the major source for providing energy, where entire globe depend onto it. On the occasion of Indian Maize summit 2022, organized by FICCI, Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, stated that India’s maize consumption is projected to increase to 33.8 Mn MT in 2030 with major contribution of industrial usage. There are many drivers of maize demand in India, which can be overwhelmed by ensuring steps for sustainable production of both maize and poultry for all end users. However, this stride of upswing in both poultry and maize couldn’t be sufficient to tackle the future demand. Apart from demand, our industry also faces challenges such as shortage of skilled labour, often met with emerging and re-emerging diseases and abuse of antibiotics. 

This obstacle can be prevailed by embedding new technologies in industry such as precision livestock farming (PLF), which is based on real time monitoring and data driven decision making and intervention. PLF comprises of smart tools, data collection and analytical tools, application of AI (Artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of things) and robotics with smart and labour less management. Precision is the application of an extraordinary accurate system maintained up to down grace and identified by the accuracy of performance. Precision is the keyword in livestock husbandry, which includes the poultry sector. This sector requires careful oversight as well as an increase in yield progressions to promote animal welfare, economic growth, and benefits. This approach would definitely help to cope up the challenges such as demand supply gap, decreasing skilled labour, bio security breach, antimicrobial resistance and at the same time maintain welfare.

What is Precision poultry farming comprised of?

                                Precision Poultry Farming (PPF) consists of techniques for continuous, deliberate, and non-manual spying technologies and computer tools for maintainable and practical poultry production, along with other solutions to poultry commercial trade to handle issues in poultry management, environment, nutrition, health and welfare customs, actions observing, waste management, etc. Precision poultry farming is practiced, the rising demand for poultry meat and egg products is to blame for this. Meat, eggs, feathers, fiber, oils, skin, by-products, vaccinations, research, and drug ingredients.

                                Precision feeding means feeding every animal according to its individual requirements. Not only on average, but every single day, and throughout the day. This is very much related to efficiency, as the closer nutrients are provided to the animal’s requirements, the more the animal is supported to use its full genetic potential. Providing less than its requirements for any important nutrient (e.g. energy, amino acids, vitamins, (trace) minerals) will reduce performance. Providing all the nutrients the animal needs, when it needs them, ensures optimal performance and limits the waste of nutrients. This is not only affecting input efficiencies but also welfare and health.

1.            Precision farming, sometimes known as precision agribusiness, is a modern concept of data-driven agriculture that aims to automatically monitor the behaviour, health, and surroundings of animals and birds. A place where one may obtain information about their farm, soil, weather, and water to use as the plantation requires to save time, money, and soil from harmful fertilizers and pesticides

2.            It foresees the use of satellite images, ground data, and other comparable data to create one explanation for every town in a general sense and for farm-specific recommendation to make their operation safe, affordable, and acceptable.

3.            Advancement  in quantitative remote sensing technologies for precision in husbandry practices on bonding computer vision and infrared imaging (covering the electromagnetic spectrum) detectors on board unmanned aerial robots are leading the way.

Examples: Drones, Global Positioning systems (GPS), and irrigation and satellite farming technologies

Importance of Precision Poultry farming

                In 21st century we are living in a world where we are constantly interacting with lot of smart devices which are constantly computing and processing information, helping humans to make their lives better and better. In such a time precision in farming too gains immense importance due to the challenges and upcoming threats we as a industry foresee. The modern challenges the industry is grappling with need modern solutions. And hence precision poultry farming opens an array of modern and innovative approaches to tackle these problems. From optimum resource utilization to using the by products of poultry processing we need a production cum processing chain which is highly efficient and cost effective to provide quality products to the consumer and substantial returns to the stakeholders.

Precision poultry farming has the potential to change the entire paradigm of poultry production.

   1) It can help to use the resources optimally

   2) Production can be maintained with minimal ecogical footprint.

   3) Least human intervention will automatically elevate the birdwelfare standards.

  4) No scope for manual errors.

Use of precision poultry farming

?             Mechanization and the use of robots are enabling technologies in poultry production. when the goal is minor generation costs and improved product quality.

?             Production of chicken is made possible by mechanization and the employment of robots. when lower production costs and higher product quality are the main objectives.

?             Despite difficulties with the robotic handling of fresh food products and hygienic requirements, the poultry manufacturing industry needs to increase its use of robotics. The application and adoption of mechanization and robotics in different unit operations in fish processing are clarified, and some outlook movements are briefly transmitted.

?             This can be attributable to the rise in demand for poultry products

 

Precision farming facilitates the following advantages:

Automation: The art of creating a piece of machinery that allows for automatic product distribution, monitoring, regulation, or other technological applications. Feeding and watering, handling of the birds during transportation to the farm and slaughterhouse, as well as collecting and packaging of eggs without harm, are all automated processes. The following are the various automation techniques successfully used in poultry farms.

o             Automatic watering

o             Automatic feeding

o             Automatic vaccination

o             Automatic ventilation

o             Automatic manure removal

o             Automatic egg collection

 

Robotics in the poultry industry

                                Robots control shed ventilation, transport, handle, pack eggs, and feed the birds. Robots are used in the chicken meat processing industry for transportation of carcasses and carcass discarding. Future technological advancements that enhance our ability to remotely monitor birds are predicted to lead to a rise in the use of robotics. The design, construction, and use of robots are all covered by robotics, engineering science, and the technology of robots. Robots are employed in a variety of industrial settings to reduce physical and/or mental labor while increasing production efficiency and it can be employed in for work in hazardous working conditions.

 

What Can Robots Do for The Poultry Industry?

                                Numerous jobs in the poultry industry were traditionally labor-intensive and required labour to perform the same acts repeatedly, such as feeding, collecting eggs, and decreasing waste. Numerous tasks also required heavy lifting. While mechanization made some of these activities easier to complete, some have become completely automated, reducing the need for careful human supervision. In the modern egg industry, tasks like collecting, counting, grading, and packing eggs as well as feeding birds and eliminating excrement have all become largely automated. Hatched chicks can be automatically moved from the incubator to the floor of the broiler shed, and mechanical examination outlets can be used to track the growth of the birds. The precise control of the birds for their feed or environmental requirements has been improved with the help of information from the weighing platform. Robotics is also used to regulate the environment in the shed. A computer controls completely automated networks by monitoring numerous sensors for temperature, humidity, moisture levels, and other factors. The computer controls the ventilation to keep the ambient parameters at the optimum levels of comfort. Robotics Development for the Poultry Industry Semi-automated to completely automatic robots are possible. The assembly of eggs using a conveyor belt technology is an illustration of a semi-automatic system. Although the robot doesn't decide how it should behave, the system may automatically count the number of eggs that pass a certain point. This six-tier cage configuration includes an egg lift system for egg collection is an example of a semi-automatic robot, for example, the backup of eggs is not detected. If any problem occurs with the egg collection or transfer process, the human operator must take control.

                                The ability to control your travel in your car could be compared to a metaphor from everyday life. Once the cruise control is activated, the vehicle won't slow down or come to a halt until the driver deactivates it or applies the brakes. Fully autonomous setup includes independent decision-making without any human intervention. Let's go back to the cruise control illustration and say the car has an advanced cruise control system. When a slower-moving or stationary vehicle is approaching, the car's front sensors alert the driver to its existence and change its speed. Detectors are hidden under the egg batch strap in a small automated egg packet method that limits the number of eggs in specific regions. These are frequently at strategic locations, including in front of nest boxes. The robot's computer receives the information control system, which has been programmed to estimate the number of eggs in the area based on weight. As the number of eggs increase so does the stake that extra eggs added to the pile may crack or break eggs, thus reducing crop integrity or abundance.

The robot is programmed to move the egg collection belt forward for a short amount of time in response to the heavier load of eggs to reduce the likelihood that more eggs would roll into the bundle and generate an alarm. The most sophisticated robotic systems might have some kind of Artificial intelligence, helped by computer vision capabilities. The robot's computer receives digital images from one or more cameras, analyses the data, and uses the results to make judgments. A robotic system that can inspect the egg collection conveyor for any obstructions was created as part of a recent Poultry CRC proof of concept project on "computer vision. “The software on the robot was 95% accurate in identifying eggs from non-egg objects. A major benefit of such a network is that before the conveyor belt was allowed to move the eggs to the parking spot, the robot could scan every egg collection collar, even those that were above the eye level of stock personnel. As a result, there is a significantly lower chance that eggs would become stuck on the conveyor belt, which would result in egg loss and additional labour costs to clean up the mess.

Millions of birds (layers and broilers) are kept in a variety of housing systems; thus, it is crucial to develop an automated, dependable approach for enhancing bird surveillance. Robotics might be the solution, but figuring out how to do it best is the difficult part. Isolated sensing technology is becoming more common for assessing the natural characteristics that indicate production efficiency. Such information can be transmitted to computerized control systems that analyse the knowledge and alert the workforce to beneficial nutrient regulations, the adjustment of ambient conditions, etc. for the benefit of birds. Farm managers would be able to continuously monitor and micromanage their birds for ideal conditions, welfare, and product through the integration of the production, health, and welfare indicators.

Agricultural robotics research applicable to poultry production

The beginnings of agro robotics research on a global scale have led to significant advancement for a variety of needs. This article provides a thorough analysis of research and development projects that have been published and that support robotics and machine competencies. The potential for intelligent automation of present and future agricultural processes, including precision livestock farming, has been made possible by machines' capacities for sensing, reasoning and learning, communication, task planning and performance, and system integration. We have concentrated on agricultural intelligent automation systems because of their tremendous potential for use in agricultural production and processing, particularly in the production of chicken. The majority of the research on agricultural robotics that has been published has been in the fields of vision and logic. Priorities have been given to object detection, product quality assessment, monitoring of plant and animal health and development, yield projection, and machine guidance.

               

According to their multiple functions, farming by robotics can be classified into three categories: monitor, harvester, and both. We have discovered that there are still a lot of issues that need to be resolved when it comes to automating agricultural chores in general and the production of poultry in particular. The development of robots for specialized agricultural jobs has been one of the most well-known robotics difficulties. Monitoring environmental conditions and chicken health, collecting eggs, and encouraging bird movement are a few examples used in the production of poultry. To satisfy the technical requirements, intelligent mobile equipment that can work alongside chicks in a poultry house has been developed. The Octopus Chickens Safe (OPS) robot for cleaning poultry is one of the most evident outcomes. Poultry Bot for picking floor eggs, and Sputnik for training hens to move. This trend of research and growth is expected to continue.

Big data

                Big data can be described as the collection and analysis of datasets described by volume, variety, and velocity, which results in better decision making. Without data analytics and interpretation, the collected data is of no use. ‘Farming the data’ to predict an individual animal’s growth requires the ability to interpret variety of data. Using big data we can enhance our understanding regarding the various hidden patterns in the bird’s behaviour, cause and effect relationships between environmental conditions and bird’s performance, customizing products and strengthening supply chain. Data from many of the poultry houses, hatcheries, can be interfaced by data blending for proper analysis and pulling out useful facts for future decision making.

The Future

                                Identifying which components of the production system may be monitored and controlled by robots (machines) and which technology is suitable to gain greater efficiency is a challenge for the poultry industry.The next step would be to investigate whether this technology—or one that is similar—could be expanded to keep track of the wellbeing and health of the birds. What indicators can be measured (remotely/wirelessly) that can accurately inform us of the internal health, welfare, and production states of the animals is a vital subject. The next set of problems will probably revolve around computer capability. Managing the huge inflow of real-time data could be difficult,  if proper analytical tools are not being used which will make a huge difference for decision making.

Identifying and tracking particular birds, particularly in low light conditions, as well as the problems with lack of difference between the subject and background are only a few of the many technological concerns related to this problem that needs to be solved. Would animal welfare organizations support the use of robots if they desire to increase the ratio of stock persons to birds? If it becomes necessary to connect remote sensing transponder devices sentinel birds, enhanced battery performance will be required for long term effective use. Sentinel bird

Artificial intelligence, sensors, robots, and transportation systems drive an innovative future for poultry broiler and breeder management

                               

?             Challenges in Poultry Broiler and Breeder Management

?             A Vision for the Poultry Production System of the Future

The environmental control production house:

•         Poultry processing plant

•         Hatchery 

•         Feed mill

•         Commercial farms

Advantages of an environmentally controlled shed

•         Improve fodder transformation rate

•         Better quality bird meat

•         Increased productivity and state of the chicken

•         Reduced mortality

•         One excess batch (or cycle) per shed

•         Fully procedure regulated with no physical controls

•         Records can be stored and obtained for years

Conclusion

                                Future poultry production is favourable and offers the potential for radical change. Highly adaptive unnatural opinions and thoughts and data-driven systems, along with advancements in sensing, robotics, and carrier technologies, will fuel innovation. The advent of novel discovery and development has the potential to fundamentally alter the ecology of broiler production and processing by addressing issues including labour shortages, disease control, food safety, flock uniformity, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. With the use of precision livestock farming the assessment of animal welfare is being transformed from the group level to the individual level. Precision livestock farming will help for technical intervention for improving efficiency, health and welfare and minimize losses. Verification and certification of consumer quality demands at farm level can be achieved. The extra gains achieved due to precision farming will definitely make the adoption economical. Further research is required to improve the accuracy of data processing and modelling, as well as of to improve device detection before commercial validation

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