Big data helps poultry trials better mimic real world

Digital solutions can analyze and group big data from poultry validation studies by diet, climate, bird breed and more, which makes it easier to apply these findings to commercial settings.

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Digital solutions can analyze and group big data from poultry validation studies by diet, climate, bird breed and more, which makes it easier to apply these findings to commercial settings.

“It really is changing research because before if you wanted to collect the body weights of birds, you had to collect them yourself and put them on the scale,” explained Sanne Van Beers, global coordinator of validation studies, Trouw Nutrition.

“It's all a lot more automated now, which allows us to follow much bigger groups of animals so that represents commercial settings a lot more.”

Bridging the gap

Validation farms are used to bridge the gap between research and commercial practices, demonstrating how factors such as genetics, weather conditions, housing and health status are impacted by different products or management strategies.

Trouw Nutrition aims too scale up validation farms around the globe, from 6 to 12 in 2021, to collect data about dairy, beef, swine, layers and broilers using sensors, software systems and machine learning. These trials are well-controlled, for example, comparing the effects of treatment A to treatment B.

“Most of time we measure performance in a certain way. But now we are at the point where we can measure a lot more things. For example, with sensor technology, we can get the weight of animals, water consumption, feed consumption and a lot of detail about the climate, about the circumstances and more,” Benny van Haandel, Farm Data Integration Manager, Trouw Nutrition, said.

Information about these performance factors can be monitored and analyzed in a variety of ways, helping farmers make data-driven decisions that are directly applicable to their own circumstances.

“There are so many variations you can measure. It’s all the big data flow and then you can slice and dice the data into patterns that are correlated to activity or performance or sustainability or whatever it is you want to measure,” van Haandel added.

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