With the emergence and regular interpretation of data, farmers can now utilise software systems in order to monitor the performance of laying hens on a daily basis. These software systems now make it possible to anticipate, adjust costs, reduce the cost price and increase profits. All this data can be compiled and interpreted via the historical records provided by the software.
Switching from a traditional flock register to a more dynamic dashboard in laying hens
First of all, it is necessary to collect the basic, day to day data registered on the farm. This data can be divided into two categories:
- Daily data: egg weight, egg laying, mortality, feed consumption, water consumption, max. and minimum temperatures.
- Weekly data: hen weight, data from the previous week.
Quite often, all this data is compiled in a flock register but it is not exploited to its full potential. The first interest of data software management lies in the possibility to represent, graphically, the collected data and to draw meaning from it. It is then possible to compare to a reference, or a standard, so one can see what tendencies and trends emerge from there. At a glance, the curves in software dashboards can provide farmers with relevant insight on various criteria.
Plotted together, laying rate, egg weight and body weight can provide very meaningful information when the time has come to move on to a new feeding phase.
It is very difficult to perceive these tendencies by consulting a mere flock register. Moreover, with a software system, a flock register is no longer needed as the data can be entered directly into the software.
Using data in layer hens: putting data into perspective to interpret it
Data provides the history, therefore, a database will keep track of all the performance of various flocks in different poultry houses. Therefore, it is possible to compare the performance of the current flock with all the flocks that have been previously reared in the same building.
We can also compare the flock currently reared in a specific poultry house with those that come from other poultry houses or at a larger scale, we can analyse the performance of this flock at the sector-wide scale of a larger poultry production organisation (if there is one). We can also have a more general perspective on flocks who come from the same hatchery by looking at their performance over several years.
The performance of different hatcheries can also be compared with each other and a flock’s performance can be assessed in regard to the norms of poultry strain. All this information could be put in perspective by considering it in relation to the national production references for each strain and the national poultry production or different countries could be compared against each other.
Therefore, automated data collection can enlarge the fields of investigation in the management of poultry farms. What can be done is to define the required variables/ criteria without too much restriction. These variables shouldn’t be too narrow or limited, because in the long term, we could end up using some which we hadn’t thought of in the beginning.
The good utilisation of data opens the door to the improvement of technical results and production cost. Whatever the size of your flock and your rearing conditions, our experts can help you to optimise your flock depending on your results. Don’t hesitate to contact them!
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