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How to boost poultry productivity and profits with data

Data management solutions play a crucial role in the success of a poultry farm. Ahmed Khater, technical service manager, Evonik, explains

Successful poultry farm management depends on farm managers and staff making the right decisions at the right time, and data plays a major role in facilitating this. Properly organising, centralising, analysing and sharing the growing amounts of data available from a modern poultry farm, however, is not easy, yet there are clear benefits to using data to achieve precision poultry farming.

Poultry farm data in this context, refers to production data – feed consumption, water consumption, body weight, egg production, egg weight, climate, and medication, for example, and financial data – egg prices, feed prices, chick prices, and hen prices, for example. These data sets are key performance indicators (KPIs)

Optimising data

Everything starts with structured – and, most importantly, regular data collection. In practice, most poultry farmers work with paper or Excel, followed by farm management systems or smartphone apps. Digital is the future, but in larger organisations, collecting and centralising data in a structured and scalable way can become a highly complex burden. Fortunately, the internet and the cloud are making this easier.

Mining production data

Good poultry production management is carried out at least daily, and Excel tools become harder to use when you add daily graphs and tables. Farm management programmes are more suitable for interactive graphs for all KPIs, although they too have limitations.

Extracting this information necessitates that farm staff have a certain level of expertise, both in poultry farming and data interpretation. Problem detection, via early warning systems, is increasingly included in farm management systems, based on fixed deviations from general standards.

The next step in data analysis is prediction. This not only helps with adjusting feeding strategies to achieve performance goals, it also supports production planning and cash flow management.

Information sharing

Once analysis has provided the required information, it needs to be shared with the relevant people in and around the poultry business. Sharing should be simple and easy, so that each person has the relevant information at his or her fingertips. Only in this way can everyone play his or her full role. For data sharing, cloud-based solutions are the way forward.

Improved poultry business

The farm manager takes the lead, empowering and motivating staff. Then, trusted experts need to be selected: a nutritionist – independent or from a feed company – for optimising feeding strategies, a veterinarian for health and hygiene, a farm business or financial consultant for business and/or financial strategies.

With all this expertise focused on the broiler or egg business, insight increases and decision making is improved. Improvement does not only occur in decisions relating to the farm’s daily operational management, but also in strategic decision making, such as for feed and genetic choices.

Cloud-based solutions service – farm intelligence solutions

Adopting new technologies to improve bird performance, connecting farms via the internet, applying powerful data-analytics tools to turn data into valuable information and sharing it on mobile devices, can raise output and improve the bottom line.

Data management considerations for poultry farms:

● Choose the data collection strategy that fits the farm and matches goals.

● Let graphical and advanced analysis tools support data interpretation.

● Share information with all relevant persons in and around the business.

● Create a unique living expert system.

Evonik Porphyrio offers an intelligent data management solution to optimise production, as well as profits with small algorithms that do the thinking for the business.