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ChickenBoy analysis robot: keeping track of flock health in the broiler house

1 April 2021, at 4:39pm
ChickenBoy
ChickenBoy

Why is the current flock performing so much better than the previous one? Why is the litter in the rear right corner always the first to get wet? Even with years of experience, it is not easy for broiler producers to answer these and similar questions. The reason is quite simple: it is difficult to collect the necessary data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and basically in 3 dimensions – and it is even more difficult to analyse them. Big Dutchman now offers a solution to this problem: ChickenBoy is an analysis robot for permanent bird monitoring and measuring of climate parameters in broiler houses.

Equipped with different sensors and several cameras, ChickenBoy is suspended from a rail system under the ceiling and keeps track of what is going on in the barn. A powerful processing unit analyses the data, partially with complex AI algorithms, and prepares a graphical representation for the customer. “We want to provide the farmer with an adequate digital cockpit that shows information about the broiler house in a clear and easy-to-understand manner,” says Dr. Heiner Lehr, CEO of Faromatics, the robot’s manufacturer.

ChickenBoy
ChickenBoy

The added value for the customer is obvious. The cockpit comprises multiple two-dimensional maps of the barn that visualise, for example, the current air quality very exactly, based on values such as temperature, air speed, humidity and the concentration of harmful gases (CO2 and NH3). The measured data can also be viewed in diagrams that indicate the progress of the batch.

Broiler production: intelligent image evaluation

The greatest strength of ChickenBoy is its intelligent image evaluation. For example, the robot finds dead birds and leaking nipple drinkers. Through a deep-learning functionality, it is able to discover the spread of possible intestinal diseases in the flock early on, based on permanent excrement rating. To complete its bundle of features, the robot provides images as well as audio and video tracks of the current situation in the barn.

“With ChickenBoy, digitisation has now truly found its way into broiler houses,” says Christian Woltering, Big Dutchman Sales Manager for broiler production in Germany. “Across the board, the customers who installed the first robots during a pilot phase were very happy with the system. All of them were able to use the collected data to further optimise their production regarding climate and bird health.”

Keeping tabs on the flock – irrespective of the location, permanently and with more precision than any farm staff: with ChickenBoy, this long-standing wish of many broiler producers has now come true.

Click here for a video about the innovation ChickenBoy!