The 21st SPACE livestock show at Rennes, Brittany attracted a record crowd including France’s new president, Nicolas Sarkozy who, like many of the 111,000 visitors and 1300 exhibitors, must have realised that his poultry, pig and rabbit farmers will need all their renowned ‘savoir-faire’ to cope with soaring feed prices. Here, the author describes some of the innovations unveiled at the show.

There were 55 entries in Innov’space, the show’s contest for new equipment. Poultry entries ranged from equipment that allows liquid egg to be pasteurised at high temperatures for extended periods to a technique to turn a four to one mixture of poultry droppings and eggshells into a growth medium for plants.

One star was awarded for adaptations of existing pieces of equipment, two stars went to a complete piece of new tackle and there was a three-star award for specially commended entries. This year, the three stars went for the second successive year to two game farming brothers, Yves and Loic le Bihan. Last year, they won with a hexagonal range house.  This year it was a range shelter with feed storage space in the roof.

The droppings and egg shell growth medium came from the Grimaud Company, Eclosion. It also had a second winner which, it was claimed, made bill trimming more comfortable for ducks. The instrument, which has been welcomed by welfare groups in several countries, kills the tip of the bill with an infra-red ray, causing it to drop off without discomforting the bird after three weeks or so.

 

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Zucami’s enriched cage, complete with 58 Hyline
hens stocked at 550cm2 greeted visitors to the R&D exhibit
 
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Diamond Shock unit is claimed by Ovoconcept to be a
breakthrough in egg pasteurisation. On the stand, Celine
Thomas described how liquid egg is pasteurised at high
temperatures for extended periods by controlling the rate
at which cavitation bubbles are produced.
 
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Loic le Bihan shows where the feed is stored in
the specially commended mobile range shelter and
feed store from the Le Bihan brothers.
 
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Philippe Lamamy (left) and chief executive officer, Olivier Rochard, were two of the scientists behind the development of the Eclosion’s winning mixture of droppings-and-eggshells, and the welfare-friendly infra-red technique of trimming duck bills
 
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Jansen introduced the VolMaxx mini aviary with the claim that the unit will make 22% better use of available floor space than other systems, and plastic slats reduce the threat of red mite.
 
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Big Dutchman increased space in the Eurovent EU cage system by the simple expedient of removing partitions and introducing colonies of various sizes.
 
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Olympus E12 Inkjet from UK-based labelling company, Rational, claims the unit will deliver bold, fully formed characters at speeds of up to 61m per minute.
 
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Hens find that the Van Gent rollaway nests are so acceptable that floor egg levels can be down as low as 1%, says the Dutch-based company. A time-clock controlled expulsion system clears the hens periodically to keep nests clean and to deter broody birds.