Feed International - August 2017 - 12
12 ❙ FeedInternational
PRECISION POULTRY NUTRITION SHAPES INDUSTRY'S FUTURE
Different conditions produce different nutritional
requirements in chickens. In time, companies
will be better equipped to adjust their feed formulations to
For example, Penz states, "A connection with more
NIR analyses in excreta - where changes in the spectra
can be related to changes in digestion - during the growout period, feeds can be adjusted to reduce the amount
of undigested nutrients. This can help to improve both
performance under challenging conditions and to improve
litter quality at the same time."
ing of what happens on a day-to-day basis in the chicken
house," Connolly said. "We estimate environmental conditions, litter conditions, nutrition. We don't know the variation that occurs on a bird-by-bird basis. We don't know a
bird's real-time data - weight, feed consumption, water
consumption. ... But I believe sensors will be a big part of
things moving forward."
Waxenecker agrees, "The sensors deployed in a precision nutrition system will provide additional eyes and ears
to farm managers and technicians."
In his opinion, the lack of connectivity between various
systems, e.g. ventilation, feeding and health monitoring,
causes data to be lost or underutilized.
Raw material rankings
Going beyond the digestibility of nutrients, Penz
feels the post-absorptive processes that rank raw
materials based on digestibility coefficients will garner
As more is known about feeding bird microﬂora, its link to improved absorption processes and the regulation of immune responses at the intestinal level, it will
spur further changes in the ranking of raw materials for
poultry feeds, he says.
BIOMIN's development director Franz
Waxenecker said precision nutrition systems will introduce semi- or fully automated traceability to the consumer. For example, ingredient or feed additive information
could be captured and carried throughout broiler production and processing to the grocery store.
In the future, digital technology, automation and artificial intelligence are expected to revolutionize how chickens
are fed and raised.
"At the moment, we are imprecise in our understand-
How detailed NIR data beneﬁts
animal feed formulators:
The "Farm 4.0" concept - or the utilization of digital
technologies for data capture - in precision agriculture
programs form the basis of this model.
"With Farm 4.0, artificial intelligence should support
the farm manager in decision-making," Waxenecker says.
"In the future, we see high-tech sensors being deployed
throughout production to monitor feed, feces, barn air,
animal behavior and more. Sensors connected to significant
computing power would use deep learning algorithms to
correlate monitored inputs with potential underlying issues
to identify arising problems and suggest or even take corrective action as needed."
Real-time adaptations will also be made using "machine
vision" technology, or the use of smart cameras, to observe
bird behavior to monitor what is actually happening in the
house, Connolly predicts. ■
References available upon request.
This is the seventh article in WATT Global Media's 100-year anniversary series, which examines nutrition's influence
on the future of poultry production. The next article in the series will explore advances in processing technology.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ August/September 2017