EuroTier silver winners take spotlight

By: Chris McCullough

Presented by

Judges appointed by Eurotier organisers the German Agricultural Society (DLG) named seven companies as silver medal winners for their innovations in animal husbandry.

 

Nectra SAS’ egg sorting and delivery system

 

COUNT YOUR CHICKENS

Manually sorting eggs on trays can take up a lot of time but technology is on hand to ease that pain.

Usually, hatching eggs from broiler parent livestock farms are delivered to central hatcheries, where they are sorted according to quality and weight before being placed into the incubator.

In addition, eggs that are not positioned with the blunt end pointing upwards in the tray have to be turned. This leads to a high number of incompletely filled trays that have to be manually refilled.

Often, the eggs are also transported on conveyors where they can come into direct contact with one another, possibly resulting in damaged shells.

In the new system presented by Nectra SAS, the eggs are transferred from the delivery trays to egg moving cups that move freely on a transport conveyor.

Here, the eggs can be automatically and individually sorted according to quality and weight, and can also be turned if they are positioned incorrectly.

The freely moving egg cups are backed up for transfer to the hatching trays, unoccupied egg cups are automatically removed and the remaining, filled egg cups are then transferred automatically to the hatching trays so that no gaps occur.

The system significantly reduces the likelihood of damaging the egg shells and automates the hatching tray filling process, says Nectra. This considerably lightens the workload and leads to an improvement in hatching rates in broiler chick hatcheries.

 

Bioret’s Delta X Pack system for collecting manure from livestock sheds

 

CLEAN SWEEP

French company Bioret collected a silver medal for its new Delta X Pack system for collecting manure from livestock sheds.

The formation of ammonia on the floors can be reduced through the early separation of faeces and urine. In dairy farming, animal urine is one of the main causes of ammonia emissions, particularly when it remains on the floors and in contact with the air and faeces for long periods of time.

With the Delta X Pack, Bioret has further developed a product that enables faeces and urine on the floors of dairy cattle sheds to be collected automatically, quickly and easily and then transferred to separate storage areas.

To accomplish this, a contra-rotating conveyor belt system has been integrated into a rubber mat system with a 3 per cent gradient. The belt system diverts the urine collected in the central gutter to the liquid store and the animals’ faeces to the solid material store.

The fast and effective separation of faeces and urine is extremely important not only for keeping the floors clean but also for fostering animal health and improving the indoor animal housing environment.

The company also says the environmental impact may also be reduced as a result.

 

Futuro Farming GmbH’s infrared calf monitoring system monitors unusual behaviour and delivers information to the farmer’s smartphone

 

WATCHFUL EYE

A new sensor technology developed by Futuro Farming GmbH that can detect diseases in calves won the animal welfare award at the virtual Eurotier preview show.

Futuro Farming’s calf monitoring system provides constant monitoring of calves and provides feedback to the farmer, enabling effective health monitoring for each individual calf in the population.

The early warning system for calf diseases detects outbreaks of disease up to three days in advance and can be used from day one for calves kept individually, it says.

A sensor is attached to each calf igloo/box for individual housing, which records the behaviour of the calves. The sensor system sends this data to the servers, where an algorithm evaluates the calves’ data and identifies calves that are susceptible to disease.

The system for the early detection of diseases in calves is based on an infrared sensor, which detects the calf’s behavioural pattern.

These abnormalities are sent to the farmer’s smartphone via app, who then receives real-time notifications so that they can treat calves as early as possible.

Thanks to earlier treatment, the continuous monitoring of the calf and the quick provision of information to the farmer can help to make the courses of diseases milder and reduce calf mortality, says Futuro Farming.

 

The Möscha lightweight slurry spreader boom has been designed for more contoured terrain

 

PRIZE BOOM

A lightweight slurry spreader boom from Möscha was awarded silver for its wider application options.

Nowadays, reducing emissions, particularly when spreading slurry, is an important topic and one that manufacturers are taking very seriously.

Spreading liquid manure and fermentation residues close to the ground and with correspondingly low emissions is very important due to reasons of environmental and resource protection. Because of the size and weight of the booms, modern spreader technology all too frequently reaches its physical limits, particularly on hilly or even mountainous terrain in designated grassland regions, says Möscha.

The Möscha spreader boom with plastic pipe as a supporting construction element is characterised by its simple and lightweight design.

Möscha achieves lighter boom weights by using covered plastic pipes instead of metal. Besides saving both material and fuel, this also extends possible applications of the system, because the precise spreading of liquid manure close to the ground with a drag hose or drag shoe attached to corresponding boom technology can also be used on lighter trailers requiring less tractive power and on more extensively contoured terrain.

 

Respeggt GmbH has developed the noninvasive Seleggt Circulus system for sex selection of eggs

 

SAMPLE SELECTION

As the culling of day-old male chicks has become a societal and political issue, with a ban on this practice being considered, the industry is seeking alternatives to this process.

The Seleggt Acus egg sexing system from respeggt GmbH was developed as a solution to make it easier to identify male chicks in-ovo before they hatch – using hormone analysis on the eighth or ninth day of incubation, on fluid extracted from the egg using a needle.

However, there is a risk of injuring the allantoic membrane inside the egg when using this method, which can lead to a reduction in the hatching rate. The hourly capacity of a single sampling unit for this system is around 600 eggs.

respeggt GmbH has therefore developed the Seleggt Circulus system as a replacement for the Seleggt Acus, describing it as a significant leap forward compared to the predecessor system.

Operating fully automatically, the allantoic fluid samples are generated in a non-invasive way.

A laser is used to create a small hole in the egg shell and fluid is collected for hormone testing. With no need for needles, sampling time has been reduced to just one second per egg.

In three-shift operation with 20 hours of operation per day, one Seleggt Circulus sampling unit therefore has a weekly capacity of 360,000 hatching eggs, corresponding to 150,000–180,000 laying chicks; a significant increase in performance in comparison with the predecessor system.

 

Holm & Laue’s Brix-TS sensor continuously measures and monitors the dry substance content of freshly mixed calf milk

 

MILK MONITOR

This new sensor keeps an eye on the correct calf milk mix.

Rearing calves on any farm is time consuming, but moreso on a dairy farm where automatic calf feeders have proved invaluable and ensure animal-friendly and needs-based calf feeding.

Powdered milk, and also whole milk to a lesser extent, is usually used in the automatic feeders and a combination of both is possible.

Fluctuating dry substance contents in new powdered milk batches necessitate constant checking and adjustment of the automatic feeders’ basic settings to achieve a consistent powdered milk concentration in the feeder milk and optimum feed qualities.

In practice, this important activity is occasionally forgone due to time constraints, as the milk replacer concentration has to be adjusted manually on the automatic feeder after calibration.

However, Holm & Laue’s Brix-TS Sensor, which is an electronic refractometer sensor that has been integrated into the mixing tank of the ‘Calf Expert’ automatic calf feeder, continuously measures and monitors the dry substance content of the freshly mixed calf milk without manual input.

In the event of deviations, the system automatically corrects the concentration in the feeder milk. If whole milk is used, a consistent dry substance concentration can also be ensured in the feeder milk by adding powdered milk if necessary.

 

Urban’s Alma Pro Hygieneset uses UV-C irradiation to reduce the microbial load in calf feeding

 

BRIGHT LIGHT

German agricultural supplies manufacturer Urban has won a silver medal for innovation for its new teat disinfection system.

Hygiene is critical when managing livestock, particularly during feeding in calf rearing. The risk of pathogens being passed from calf to calf can be an issue if using automatic feeding.

The Alma Pro Hygieneset uses UV-C irradiation to reduce the microbial load in calf feeding.

Specific UV-C irradiation at relevant hygiene points of the automatic calf feeder is intended to lead to significant improvements in comparison with previous technical concepts for reducing microbial loads.

Besides the UV-C irradiation of the boiler water, for pathogen-free water for mixing the feed, the additional, monitored irradiation of the teat represents a vast improvement.

In short, feeding breaks between the individual calves, the teat and the adjacent contact surfaces are irradiated, thus killing a multitude of pathogens during operation.

Urban says its Alma Pro Hygieneset is a safe, resource-efficient and chemical-free option for reducing microbes in the calf feeder area, compared to other sanitisation methods available on the market.

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