High-technology enters world of poultry business

OKLAHOMA - Go back in time, say a century or so, even before the iron horse made its debut, and fetch a poultry farmer, pluck him off his Currier and Ives setting, then escort him into a modern chicken barn.
calendar icon 18 August 2006
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This is one that features a water pipe known as the nipple drinker line and an auger that automatically dispenses feed from a pipe directly into a tray. Add to that a temperature-control device so birds are always at a comfort level.

Best of all, the entire system can be driven by a personal computer right inside the farmer’s own house.

“It would be a big change for them,” acknowledged Dale Walker, president of the West Virginia Poultry Association.

Walker, owner of a poultry farm at Fort Nibert, Pendleton County, hand-crafted a scale model of a modernized poultry barn for exhibition at the State Fair.

“I grew up in the poultry business,” Walker said Wednesday as parents and children clustered around pens of chicks, roosters and breeder turkeys.

“I remember when we used to hand-feed chickens, used to water chickens and turkeys.”

For the past decade, the computer has been an integral part of the poultry business in West Virginia, and the idea seems to be catching on more and more each year.

“This will take care of all your environmental controls,” Walker said. “It runs your fans, your heat, and your temperature can be programmed to keep within half a degree. It saves fuel — that is one big thing. Really, you’ve got a better environment for your birds.”

Source: Pryor Daily Times
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