CO2 Sensors Improve Yields for Poultry Farmers

Broiler grower David Speller of Derbyshire Peak District in the U.K. has outfitted his poultry farm with sensors to measure CO2 concentrations in the hatching areas according to an article published in the Farmers Weekly.

Mr. Speller connected all the sensors to a PC that constantly monitors CO2 levels in each barn. Currently, he monitors four barns with over 180,000 birds. 

"Having everything linked to the computers enables me to monitor all that is going on in each of my four sheds from my laptop or my phone, wherever I am in the world," he explained. 

The computer monitors air temperature, floor temperature, humidity, air pressure, daily feed and water consumption, average bird weight, and CO2 levels. The sensors have pre-set levels which will trigger an alarm on Mr. Speller’s cell phone if their is a problem. 

According to Mr. Speller, "When we were starting the business we had a lot of problems with ascites rejects (lung damage at an early age) from the slaughterhouse - we were losing about 0.5% of our birds. But when we invested in the sensor we discovered our CO2 levels were far too high when the chicks arrived.” 

"As a result, we increased ventilation and have now got rejections down to 0.2%. We were able to recoup the £1500 (about $2,300 USD) cost in two crops,” he added. 

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