How to Improve the Weighing System in Poultry Farms?
Posted on 17th Jul 2021
The weighing system in poultry
Monitoring the weights of birds in a poultry farm is an important step in the process of farming. The farmers measure the weight of each bird on the farm periodically and record it in the database system. The commercial poultry farmers use digital weighing scales or manually weigh the birds and maintain a record of the data for commercial purposes.
Proper weight monitoring is essential for farmers because the farm's profit depends on the weight of the birds. Too high or too low weight affects the production negatively, so it is essential to monitor the weight carefully and correctly for further management.
Moreover, in modern poultry management weight of the flock is an important activity. If the weight monitoring is done correctly and carefully, it can be a prominent factor for the economic success of the poultry business.
Why weighing birds is essential?
The weighing of birds is crucial because of the following reasons:
Overview growth process
The production and productivity of the poultry processes depend upon the growth of birds. So, weighing the birds from time to time is important and gives an overview of their growth process. Also, weighing birds gives an insight into the daily activity of the birds on the farm.
When the birds have to be commercialized, then the weight plays a major factor in determining the price of the birds. Also, weigh monitoring helps the farmers to set the price of the birds according to the weight. If the birds' weight is not recorded correctly, it hampers the business as the farmers might have to set a low price for the birds. Also, it helps the farmers in analyzing when the broilers have reached uneconomical rates of feeds consumption.
Variations in weight
Every bird in a flock has a different weight. The farmers cannot just glance and tell the weight of birds. That's why proper monitoring of the weight of each bird, recording it, and maintaining the database is important.
When the farmers monitor the weight of the poultry birds, it helps the farmers to analyze if the birds are fed well or not. If there is a loss or increase in the weight of the birds than the ideal weight, then the farmers can maintain feeding properly.
Spot signs of disease
If the weight of the birds in a poultry farm is suddenly declining, then it is a sign that the birds have caught some disease. Weight loss is a symptom of many diseases, and it can hamper the productivity of the business and increase the mortality rate. But, maintaining a record of weight can give an early signal of any disease, and the farmers can take action on time.
The Manual Weighing System
The bird weighing plays a great role in the economic success of the poultry business, as we have discussed earlier. But, if the weight management system is not efficient, then the farmers might not make many profits and rather add more effort. It is the case with a manual weighing system.
Any task, when done manually, becomes more complicated and time-consuming, and the same is the case with manual or hand weighing. Let's understand how this process works.
The farmers weigh the birds every 0-21 days in bulk (average bird weight,) and from 21-28 days, the birds are weighed individually. Then the recorded data is put in a database and further sent to ERP and other systems for further use. But in every system, the data is recorded manually. It is a time-consuming and complex as it sounds.
Major issues faced by farmers in manual weighing system
The farmers face many issues with this manual weighing system. As discussed by some farmers, the major issues they face are:
Manual entry of weights
In poultry farmers, there are not just 10 or 20 birds, but there are hundreds of birds or even more. These birds are weighed in cubes locally, and the farmers note the weights manually. This process is difficult and time-consuming.
Omissions in entries
When there are hundreds of birds to be weighed, then there are chances that the farmers miss out on recording the weight of any bird. Also, when the data is recorded in other systems, the omissions in the recording are a common issue.
To calculate the average weight of the birds, the farmers have to make some calculations like calculating the subtotal and grand total of wights. In the manual weighing system, the farmers make these calculations manually, and there are increased chances of errors in calculations.
In a word, the manual process of weighing birds is time-consuming. Weighing each bird, making manual calculations, preparing the database, recording data manually in other systems all these activities require ample time.
Labour intensive method
If the poultry farms use manual operations, then it is obvious it requires labor. Manual weighing is a labor-intensive method, and the farmers have to hire labor for such activities. Also, this adds to labor costs and affects the overall profitability of poultry farms.
Not suitable for large scale production
Manually weighing the weight of birds in a small farm is still applicable, but when the production is medium to large, then it is not suitable. If the farmers are doing production on a large scale, then they have to opt for a technology solution.
Increased errors in weighing records
Manual operations are prone to errors, and the same goes for manual weighing. It is stated by farmers that the data they record manually consists of many errors.
The Ideal Solution: Internet of things (IoT)
Internet of things (IoT) is a solution that can end the problems that the farmers go through because of the manual weighing system. Internet of things increases the efficiency of the weighing system. IoT is the network of physical devices (IoT devices) that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies. The devices and systems are connected for exchanging data over the internet.
Let us understand how the IoT system will work in a poultry farm weighing system. The IoT device for weighing birds will automatically detect the weight and record it in the database. The database can be sent to an ERP system or software over the internet from the IoT device.
So, the farmers don't need to manually upload entries of each bird because IoT devices will perform these tasks in a matter of few minutes. Also, the farmers do not need to upload the data in systems manually. As the systems are interconnected with IoT devices, the farmers can transmit the data from one device to other. That's how connecting and exchanging data becomes a lot easier with IoT devices.
Benefits of weighing birds using an IoT solution
Following are the benefits of the IoT solution developed for the Bird Weighing System:
Automatic data entry
With an IoT device, the farmers don't need to upload the data manually by weighing each bird and recording its weight in the system. The IoT device detects the weight and automatically records it in the system.
Get real-time reports
The IoT system will help the farmer in getting analytical dashboards and reports in real-time. So the farmers can access the reports anytime and make can further make decisions related to feeding, setting prices for commercialization, and monitor the growth of birds.
In manual weighing systems, the farmers had to make calculations. But in the case of IoT, there is no need for human intervention as IoT devices automatically make the calculations like the average weight of birds, subtotal, and grand total.
No data loss
Due to power cuts, the data in the systems are often erased. Any loss in data can lead the farmers to perform the whole weighing process again, but it is not an issue if the weighing data if farmers use an IoT device. The IoT devices run on batteries. So, even if there are frequent power cuts, the farmers will not lose the data.
Save ample time
Doing the complex task in no time is the essence of the IoT system. As manual operations with human intervention are not required in weighing, it saves ample time, and the farmers can utilize the time in other important activities.
No errors and omissions
With technology comes accuracy. The IoT devices record the exact weight of the birds, so there are no chances of errors in the data. Also, the IoT solutions do not omit any data while recording and transmission.
We have discussed the importance of a weighing system and how it impacts the profitability of poultry farms. The weighing system in poultry farms has a direct impact on profits and economic success of the business, so it has to be efficient. It is high time that farmers shift from manual to technology solutions. With IoT solutions, farmers can attain so many benefits. Investment in IoT is the best decision that a poultry farmer can make.
So if you are looking for an IoT solution that can give the exact benefits that we have discussed, then PoultryMon is the one for your poultry business.