TIBOT TECHNOLOGIES has said trials in breeder flocks with its Spoutnik robot have found that its presence can improve both mating activity and fertility.
The French robotics start-up worked with genetics giant Hubbard on the trials, which assessed the impact of the Spoutnik, an autonomous robot that roams in poultry sheds and encourages bird movement.
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It moves through scratching areas in flocks encouraging bird movement and, therefore, rooster libido.
Tests were conducted on two broiler breeder flocks aged 48 weeks and 55 weeks, according to Tibot.
Mating activity was measured by observing birds over three hours, before lights were turned off, both with and without the robot present.
Birds were observed for two weeks to determine how age might affect the results.
There was a 30% uplift in mating activity over the course of the study.
Fertility was also assessed and was up by five points.
Hubbard technical manager Mathieu Lardière said: “The presence of the robot in the building helps maintain hen and rooster activity, resulting in an increase in mating attempts, especially during the last two hours before lights are turned off.
“This is particularly attractive as literature shows that hens require more frequent mating after they have reached 45 weeks of age.”
“We are confident in our product’s performance, but to have our results confirmed once again through a strict study protocol conducted by a leading broiler breeder such as Hubbard is a major milestone in Tibot Technologies development,” added Yanne Courcoux, CEO and Co-founder of Tibot Technologies.