Published on March 16, 2022
Innovations in R&D: Implementing RFID Technology
As the first link in the turkey value chain, Hybrid Turkeys is leading the way in applying innovative technology within their breeding program. RFID technology is one of many ways they are making progress in this area.
One year ago, Hybrid announced the implementation of RFID technology at their pedigree facilities. RFID technology aids in enhanced genetic progress via more accurate and real-time data, in addition to offering improved animal and worker-friendly methods of data collection. Over the past year, Hybrid has been utilizing this technology on a greater scale to monitor feed efficiency, live body weights and in the newest trial - egg production.
Hybrid’s feed stations use RFID technology to capture individual feed consumption when an animal enters a station. The use of this technology allows an increase in the number and accuracy of data records collected. It also provides a view on individual animal feeding behavior and habits. These efforts result in sustainable progress in feed efficiency which is known to address the high cost of feed while simultaneously lowering the industry's carbon footprint.
Live Body Weights
To improve the method of capturing body weights on live animals Hybrid has developed an Automated Weigh System that utilizes RFID technology. The system captures individual bird weights each time they step on a scale allowing for the natural collection of data while limiting the need for handling. As genetic progress has seen continued growth in turkeys, this system allows for improved worker conditions with less requirement for lifting animals. Additionally, birds can hop on and off the scales as many times as they like which increases the number of data points collected. More data ensures the continued acceleration of genetic progress.
Individual Egg Collection
In Hybrid’s most recent application of RFID technology, there is a small trial focused on the development of an automatic nest to measure individual egg production in group housing. This trial also includes individual video recordings to observe behavior and validate nest occupancy and egg production.
The automated collection of individual egg production has great potential for downstream application in order to gather information on the effects of genetics combined with different environments and then to feed this information back into the genetic engine. In doing so the industry will see enhanced progress in breeder hen performance.
Collaboration throughout the value chain with a keen focus on progress is at the core of what Hybrid is doing to contribute to a sustainable industry. RFID technology is just the beginning of how Hybrid is applying innovative technology to fuel their genetic engine and deliver continuous improvements for a brighter tomorrow.