Broiler Ventilation

Efficient ventilation for your poultry farms

How efficient is your ventilation? As our European clients head into summer and the outside temperature rises it is vital to health of your birds that the ventilation and temperature is monitored efficiently to reduce the risks from heat stressEffective ventilation is a crucial element to your broiler production and bird welfare. You shoulbe aiming to avoid putting undue stress on the birds with adequate ventilation and air exchange rates maintaining air quality and avoiding heat stress. 

 Aside from age of the bird the biggest influence on air quality inside the poultry house are the conditions outsideThe conditions the birds experience during the hot summer temperature must be controlled by the ventilation system whatever the conditions outside. However, it is not just about temperature regulation as the birds feel thermal comfort based on temperature, humidity and air flow rates, so all of these must be considered. 

Whichever ventilation system you are using it needs to not only ensures adequate air exchange throughout the poultry house, but also remove excess moisture from the litter, maintain oxygen levelsreduce carbon dioxide levels, and regulate temperature within the house. 

 As an example, in the UK the current guidelines are that each poultry house has a ventilation system that: 

  • keeps the concentration of ammonia (NH3) below 20 parts per million (ppm), measured at the level of the chickens’ heads 
  • keeps the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) below 3,000ppm, measured at the level of the chickens’ heads 
  • when the outside temperature measured in the shade is over 30C, the inside temperature is never more than 3C warmer 
  • keeps the average relative humidity inside the house over any 48 hour period below 70% when the outside temperature is below 10C 

 These are just the minimum requirements but at OPTIfarm we look at providing the best air quality and provide the best environment possible for bird welfare, health and production. 

 We monitor your equipment and analyse data collected on temperature and air quality. As we visit the farm every 90 minutes our real time data collection is proving to be invaluable, we are able to intervene before any early warning signs of anything awry. We monitor key indicators such as changes in water, feed intakes and bird spread. Many aspects can lead to an investigation of the ventilation system. 

The above graph shows a correlation between the ventilation and feed, the tunnel vent system was disturbing the birds away from the end feed pans housing the automatic feeding sensor which resulted in periods of feed outages. The team was able to quickly act on this data derived information and following immediate client consultation OPTIfarm was requested to remotely adjust the settings at the farm and the issue was resolved immediately. A positive outcome for the birds and the client immediately with no delays. 

 What happens when the outside temperature rises? To lose body heat birds pant allowing moisture to evaporate from the lungs (similar to dogs) but this physiological mechanism requires abundant fresh, dry air entering the birds lungs so that the moisture can be transpired then expelled by the birds as they exhale. So, when temperatures exceed 25°C with relative humidity’s of over 60% for example in UK summer, it is important to deliver as much fresh air at bird height as possible, thus constantly removing moisture exhaled by the birdsTo allow this in a positive vented house with air inlets and extraction fans the setting of inlets is as important as the settings of the fans 

Air inlets should allow not only the high volumes of air into the house but they must control direction of the air flow and the control the internal pressure of the house to ensure the fresh air reaches all the areas of the house, including corners, at the birds head height. 

In more extreme climates globally the OPTIfarm service is often assessing and advising on highly sophisticated environmental controls equipment and very specific technical management. What better than the extensive experience and knowledge of the OPTIfarm technical team remotely checking your farm 24 hours per day to give you that added peace of mind, plus save you time and money.  

Ventilation control systems and equipment are an investment and should be used to their full potential. This is not always easy or simple as modern ventilation systems become more sophisticated and complicated. OPTIfarm will ensure your poultry facilities are optimised to a very exacting standard today, tomorrow and every day.  

Working in conjunction with the major ventilation equipment manufacturers around the world OPTIfarm is uniquely able to support you in maximising the potential of your ventilation systems. Our experienced technicians will be looking on your behalf to constantly fine-tune settings and systems and help spot potential problems before they materialise. 

 OPTIfarm is a global support service focused on working for you to ensure you can maintain good performance and welfare of your birds and allow you that extra piece of mind.  

 

Covid and the CEO

Covid and the CEO

Working from home has been an interesting experience for me, given I spent the past years getting on first name terms with the cabin crew on a number of different airlines globally. My wife has coped brilliantly with me being around (never doubted for a moment), my step sons have discovered that I do actually work quiet hard and I don’t just jet set around the world ‘ living the dream’ and not to forget the dog who still seems amazed every morning to see that I am still around.

Initially my thought was, wow, what will I do with all my time, no driving, no checking in, no waiting on taxis, no time zones, however what I found was a huge initial demand on my time along with my team working together remotely to settle the company down into a new format, ensuring the well-being of all our team and making sure our already tested contingency plans worked in the event of remote working. I am really proud to say that there was absolutely no effect on our ability to serve our clients 24/7 and all credit to everyone here at OPTIfarm for embracing the challenge and just delivering.

As to my new routine, I can say that generally I start around 7.30am with a cup of tea (I am British after all) and I review the overnight activities, emails, internal messages, etc. My day is then full of video calls, emails, report writing, financial planning, etc, broken only but the rare occasion when I try to assist my wife in home schooling a 10 year old (running a global company is a dream compared to home schooling).  ON average my new working day is just as usual pre COVID19 but I try to end the day a little sooner than the midnight flights of old I used to have to catch and turn of the computer at around 5-6pm. I try to keep evenings and weekends as free from non-essential work as possible although I have been known to dip into the now home office on my way past for a quick message or two. this room was formally called an office but clearly wasn’t a place of a lot of work activity, more a home to the things that no one knew where else to put them.

I am becoming a master at Microsoft Teams and have found that actually I am now speaking to my team probably more than before given we are all sat in front of our computers linked up by the one software platform. Thank you, Microsoft this has really worked for us, internal emails are gone and an emoji makes the message more personal and less bland.

 

I would like to think we have remained in good contact with clients and found that as COVID19 was a global incident everyone around the word has been very receptive to video calls and remote meetings. Probably the biggest challenge is ensuring new potential clients understand through remote contact only the sincerity of ourselves and what we offer through the OPTIfarm service, some things including working relationships are just easier to establish in person, especially in different cultures and languages when body language can be a universal tool we all use to gauge what we are describing to each other. 

I am thinking due to the great success we have had that maybe some regular remote working away from the office is more achievable than we all previously thought and with this in mind we will be considering the potential for new team members to come from anywhere in the world as we clearly don’t all need to be sat in one head office to succeed.

 

David Speller - CEO - Headset included

My time during the Covid-19 Pandemic

My time during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

What to do when you suddenly stopped travelling for work?

One of the things I’ve learned from COVID-19 pandemic is that I don’t have any time management skills. My time management was dictated by my flight and travel schedule and me trying to avoid bringing work home. Now all of a sudden, I have all this free time saved from travel but at the same time businesses to chase which would require me to travel. I’ve been trying to do my best and apply some methods I’ve read about earlier in my career. 

Here is some stuff that works for me: 

  • Habits: Human is a habitual animal. Keeping at some trivial repetitive stuff can give a structure to a day. For me having a structure is important, like appearing two hours prior to a flight at the airport, habits are like anchors to attach my other activities to. I walk my dog around the compound where we live twice a day. I brew a coffee three times. These help me segment my day and give me some structure which otherwise would be given by my travel itinerary.
  • Keeping businesslike: I came to learn that now I am at home; my wife thinks that I am not working. I had to set boundaries without hurting her feelings while staying functional. We are in a very small summer house, so I don’t have a separate room to work in. I figured our bedroom is free during the day, so I walk in there and close the door whenever I am working. That helped us to separate two worlds. Which brings me to the next point.
  • No one lives life all businesses concluded: There is very small fraction of work that can’t be done tomorrow. It is a continuous balancing act between private and work life and it is very easy to lose this balance when confined at home in both ways. When I draw the line about being busy by closing the bedroom door, I also made clear when I am around the house, I am not working. I still keep checking stuff on my phone to some degree because I may need to respond to something in some other time zone, but I keep it limited.
  • Clearing the head: One thing I miss is my semi-sleep state of mind I had during travels. This gave me the opportunity to clear my head and let my subconscious ponder about stuff life and work related. Similarly, I hear people missing their commutes between work and home. I found the solution at walking. I am lucky that I live in a place with heavenly natural scenery and the shore is just a few minutes of walk. It is not sports training for me, rather a quiet time away from computer, home and everything to wind down and listen to myself.
  • Keeping in shape: Who knew luggage pulling was the one thing keeping me athletic? I am a lazy person by nature, but when I finally understood that this confinement is going to take a while, I made the decision to eat healthier, move a bit more and limit my alcohol consume to a minimum. Binge eating is one thing I can slip into very easily, so I tasked my wife to take care of our daily menu and keep all her snacks away from me. As a natural night owl, I had to force myself to get into bed the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning. Knowing your own nature helps a lot, when you know what can make you slip away become an issue over time all you need is to work against it consciously.  
  • Getting informed and staying oblivious: I am usually very particular about how I digest my news and get informed about stuff. With the pandemic I choose to stay oblivious to any pandemic related news. If there is a vaccine or a cure, or the end of the world comes, I’ll surely hear about it. But until then getting all kinds of depressing news about things I can’t change will only make me depressed, which won’t help anybody. I have a list of work-related news sites and a few technology sites I follow. When I find something interesting, like spearfishing at the moment, I read anything I can get my hands on about it. But that is it. We don’t have a television receiver at home, just a monitor connected to the Internet where we watch movies and series from Netflix.    
  • This will pass, so be prepared: When we travel for business, we go to visit people who expect us for some business purpose. This means, now is the best time to created those purposes so that we have some place to go and some people to visit after travel limitations are lifted. Remember Joe you never had the time to catch up with? Call him.
  • Housekeeping: We all say “if I had time, I’d sort those files and write those reports and create a framework for this and that purpose”. Well we won’t find any better opportunity, are we?
  • One last thing: No one performs well every day. You are not Tiger Woods.
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Yagmur Akgun

Global Sales Executive

What would you do?…

Do you own a poultry farm? Do you also have these questions in mind?

  1. Who’s watching the broiler farm overnight? 
  2. How do you solve employees problem during the holiday seasons, sick leave, and the rest of it?
  3. What do you do if you can’t find skilled employees for your poultry farms?

We have a solution that could help with all these problems. OPTIfarm. Just fill in our online questionnaire and we will contact you, explain more about the service, benefits, and contractual period.

 

OPTIfarm is a team of poultry analysts founded by David Speller, an award-winning Broiler farmer, with more than 14 years’ experience. The service was initially developed for their own farms, but quickly developed based on their customers’ recommendations, and led to support farms globally. They realised, there was a need to develop a system to enhance the farmer’s large investment by utilising existing equipment to its fullest potential.

 

We are a remote solution that connects to each poultry house every 90 minutes, 24 hours per day, checking, optimising and looking for improvements. Approximately 100+ checks are carried out on each house each week. Our service is using the internet connection and all the available technologies in your farm, like sensors for humidity, temperature, air pressure, CO2 and ammonia levels, water consumption, feed consumption and cameras. OPTIfarm work closely with farm staff to optimise productivity.

OPTIfarm can improve the parameters of your farm that you are not happy with, like feed conversion, uniformity, quality, hock burns and growth management, but also monitors bird welfare. By checking every 90 minutes, the team is analysing the data, applying the unique OPTIfarm decision tree, making observations and advising in various ways (e-mail, text message, What’sApp). The interactive OPTIfarm dashboard is a customised tool, and visualises all observations and recommendations according to your goals. It is supporting you to have a clear overview of all the parameters of your farm.

OPTIfarm works well alongside all major controllers. Whilst the software gathers and analyses data, We conduct real time farm assessments and provide advice to correct issues identified or foreseen either in the farm observations or the data analytics.

Latest In Machine Learning

Latest development for your Broiler Farm

With Automated Visual Recognition technology, we can create ground truth in real time with auto annotation, enabling us to see and read what each individual bird and the flock is telling us with these new advancements.

Here OPTIfarm we can assess poultry and their behaviour closer than we have ever been able to do to date by creating ground truth in real time, the flock is assessed minute by minute enabling us to see and read what they are telling us.

These new advancements give you snap shot of whats to come from our unique optimisation service. The great thing about these new developments is that they use ‘off the shelf’ cameras to carry out bespoke poultry behaviour assessments.

This latest development in machine learning and artificial intelligence can track, count and identify what the chickens are doing giving us new insights and data that will lead to more new learning and more ways to ensure optimal productivity.

Clients at OPTIfarm we will soon be able to receive this new service along with other new innovations we are working on as part of our already successful 24/7 global farm optimisation.
Be apart of our journey and see what we can do for you and your business, experience all the benefits OPTIfarm brings for your farm.

Covid-19 Support

Covid-19 Support

With the country going into lockdown now it is more vital than ever that we pull together for our British and Worldwide poultry farms.

Our essential industry is coming under pressure from the effects of Covid-19 and the domino effect could be huge. Despite this we continue to operate normally. We are very thankful that agriculture still keeps producing and while everybody else can shut off their business and go home we farmers have to stay healthy, keep our stock healthy and keep producing.

Broiler chick

For us and the millions of others working in the poultry and livestock industry we have no choice but to continue as close to normal as possible, but what if just one of your staff tested positive for the coronavirus? It means under the current government guidelines that anyone in close contact with them will also have to be isolated for a minimum of two weeks. This will include their colleagues. Would this have knock on effect for you receiving help externally? What is your plan for this? Might sound harsh but go through the possible scenarios, plan and prepare.

OPTIfarm is proving to be a vital support system right now across the world, we are working remotely to provide 24/7 support to poultry farms, we are the extra pair of hands when needed, we use skilled knowledgeable staff and our own decision tree software ensuring productivity and welfare standards are still met. In an emergency situation the possibility to remotely access the sheds and the controllers is a lifeline.

While using our service is valuable throughout the year, it is especially vital as a contingency plan for an emergency.

NEW OPPORTUNITY HERE AT OPTIFARM

Great opportunity to work with us here at OPTIfarm

If you are finding yourself with reduced hours or suspension from your work and want to consider a short or a longer-term career with us, either working on our poultry farms around the UK or with us at our OPTIfarm global farm optimisation service HQ please get in touch.

Our businesses remain active 24/7 on full service delivering essential support to farmers around the world so they can keep producing the food we all need. We will continue delivering the same high standards in animal welfare, there will be no break in our service to the farms we support.

These anxious and unusual times bring unforeseen difficulties. But the best of human nature can rise to the challenge, with all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about recruitment and being positive. However, now, is the time for us to be proactive and support our industry in anyway possible over the next few weeks and months.

https://www.optifarm.co.uk/contact

Evonik invests in precision livestock start-up to improve poultry production.

  • UK start-up OPTIfarm provides 24/7 support and service for poultry houses
  • Start-up advances digitization in chicken farms
  • Investment in OPTIfarm strengthens Evonik’s precision livestock activities

Evonik has invested in the startup OPTIfarm Ltd. through its venture capital unit and now holds a minority stake in the company, which is headquartered in Chesterfield (United Kingdom). OPTIfarm is already generating revenue through delivering round the clock monitoring of poultry houses, ensuring better animal welfare, improving livestock performance and enabling fail-safe operations. OPTIfarm’s team uses whatever imagery, automation and sensors that are already available, including temperature, water and feed. This allows checks to take place from afar. Any issues can be discovered and corrected quickly, saving the farmer time and money.

The transaction took place in the context of a spinout of OPTIfarm from the Applied Group. The parties have agreed not to disclose the amount of the investment.

“We are impressed with the global commercial success that OPTIfarm has already achieved,” says Bernhard Mohr, head of Venture Capital at Evonik. “Evonik possesses the ideal experience and expertise to support OPTIfarm through further growth.”

The OPTIfarm services and business model was developed by poultry producer and entrepreneur David Speller as part of his existing business. Speller said, “I am delighted that the investment from Evonik enables OPTIfarm to now operate as a focused standalone company. With heritage as a poultry producer and a unique pay as you go business model, OPTIfarm is now positioned to serve a larger number of poultry farmers.”

“OPTIfarm is an excellent strategic fit for Evonik’s developing precision livestock business,” says Emmanuel Auer, head of the company’s Animal Nutrition business line. “Supporting customers in improving performance and sustainability strengthens our Animal Nutrition growth engine.”

As part of its venture capital activities Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in promising start-ups with innovative technologies and in leading specialized venture capital funds. The focus here is on Evonik’s Health & Care, Smart Materials, Animal Nutrition, and Specialty Additives growth engines as well as on digitalization. Evonik currently has investments in more than twenty start-ups and venture capital funds.