Each year, French agricultural trade show SPACE holds a competition to recognize innovation among suppliers to the agricultural sector. Organized under the title of Innov’Space, 130 entries were submitted across species in this year’s awards program. In addition to products that can be used across species including poultry, 11 exclusively poultry products were recognized from a shortlist of 47 across species. 

There was only one three-star winner – the highest level of recognition – yet there was still a strong showing of inventiveness across the two- and one-star awards, including products ranging from flooring to veterinary equipment and offering new possibilities for producers of broiler meat, eggs and ducks. 

Three Star

Noreds, a nutritional supplement from IRSEA that works against red mites, Dermanyssus gallinae, was the only poultry product to be awarded a three-star innovation award. 

In 2003, IRSEA researchers identified a new semiochemical, DDRA, secreted from the uropygial gland of the duck. Various laboratory studies along with studies on infected farms showed that DDRA disturbs the social behavior of the red mite. 

In the presence of DDRA, adult female mites stop sucking blood and, as a consequence, no longer secrete the pheromone responsible for the grouping of mites into colonies. The colonies decline and the nymphs die spontaneously or become much easier to destroy, IRSEA explains.

The feed supplement combines DDRA with sunflower oil, which is rich in eicosanoid precursors, known to play a role in modulating inflammation and stress, thus improving the quality of life of hens on infected poultry farms. 

Use of DDRA could be a substitute for xenobiotic or toxic substances, the manufacturers believe.

Two Star

A two-star award was granted to Tuffigo Rapidix for its Vigebox interactive alarm system. A major innovation of the system is that it can be connected via ethernet to all the latest generation of control and computer systems.

Vigebox is able to identify, gather and monitor the critical points in breeding and precisely identify any problems that may arise. It can indicate whether a problem lies with temperature, humidity, water consumption, food, gases, and weight, and measure levels against established thresholds. Vigebox can be programmed to warn, for example when pump maintenance is needed, or any other task. The supply of data from the system is free of charge and the system be accessed via the internet using a smartphone or tablet.

Junior Robot from Ovoconcept, another two star winner, is a new generation of palletizer offering two functions at the packer- or egg grader exit – stacking and palletizing. Junior Robot can stack 30-egg trays and then take six-tray stacks to palletize them. The robot can work with both plastic and board trays or with both at the same time and automatically inserts dividers.

One Star

A one-star award was granted to the Anesthesia Case from Acma. Anesthesia Case comprises an electronic display panel allowing the frequency and tension of the stunner to be adjusted to the size and type of bird and displaying the details of the current. A generator accurately regulates frequency, while a potentiometer and minicomputer collect information on current.

BNA Nutritione Animale showcased its Technical, Financial and Environmental Management of Livestock Farms system, known by its acronym as BEPC, which allows poultry producers to measure their sustainability. The system is based on four components, welfare, economics, performance, and the environment. The BEPC system is based on defined parameters, for each of the four components. The ranking of these parameters can be varied, allowing producers to make their own choices. An easy-to-use calculator offers producers an overall analysis and a way of reaching objectives. Users can work toward continuous improvement by drawing up a parameters-based action plan, thus improving sustainability.

FAF received a one-star award for its Le Reve Force-Feeding Canula for ducks held in group cages. When the canula is inserted into the duck’s bill, its shape forces down the tongue, making insertion into the esophagus easier, even when ducks have their backs to the operator. The plastic canula is fitted with a spray nozzle, which evenly distributes feed in the corp, preventing excess build-up in the lower crop. The FAF canula is particularly recommended for group cages where vertical positioning is required and ducks are forced against the cage floor. 

FAF also received a one-star award for its Comfort Door, an easy-to-use forcefeeding gate that fits the FAF Le Reve group of force-feeding cages. Made of ABS plastic, the gate is sturdy, flexible and easy to clean. Comprising curved bars, the patented gate allows ducks to be easily caught, turned and brought into reach through a single movement and without closing the cage. Users can reach across the inside of the cage, making those ducks that have gathered in cages also easy to catch. The door offers enough space to check crops and aids positioning a feeding canula.

Speed Weight, a weighing system for poultry from Ferman, was also recognized. Users simply have to get birds into the weighing tunnel, and the system will do the rest, the company says. A sensor detects the presence of a bird and records its weight. The bird is then released. Averages weights per group are calculated, and up to 20 groups can be measured. The number of birds per group can be up to 600. Using a touchscreen, operators can see the various weights, the number of birds per group, and regularity through the group, along with the date and time. All data can be transferred to a memory stick.

Palmy’Jos from Josse is a slatted flooring system made entirely of plastic and for use with a scraper. The lower area has rounded corners making washing down quick and easy, and so promoting hygiene. Cleanliness is also promoted as a result of the narrow vertical sections, similar to wire, which allow droppings to pass through. Sections with wider slates are “rest zones.” Part of the slats may be soiled, yet the birds do not get excessively dirty. 

Sodalec Distribution – Sodis offers its Air Jack VTA ventilation equipment. The system offers automatic flaps to limit losses through fans when they are turned off. The automatic character of the system results in farmers not having to remember to open and close flaps as is often the case. Opening and closing is conducted by a twin air jack, and is fast and automatic. 

The Tulderhof Agrosystems Air Optimizer ventilation system comprises a fan with a plastic hood. The system has been designed for broiler and layer units and uses a fan to mix incoming air with the warm air inside the building. Air Optimizer should be used where there is otherwise poor ventilation. Its use results in drier bedding that contains less ammonia. Air Optimizer is wall-mounted and can be installed and adapted to all types of air inlet.