A BRITISH start-up has launched a novel camera-based broiler weighing system.
Pondus uses imaging analysed by unique software to determine the weight of broilers within a shed.
It can also alert farmers if birds are huddling, which can indicate a problem with the shed environment or illness.
Across a broiler flock, the system currently reports at a 5% error rate, but accuracy is constantly improving as the software is refined.
The system is being developed as an alternative to manually weighing birds or using automatic scales.
‘Care and attention’
“Birds are sensitive and require 24/7 care and attention,” says Pondus chief executive Claire Lewis.
“This creates substantial pressure on their carers – farmers, farmworkers and veterinarians.
“Pondus focuses on providing technology that supports the carer and thus improves birds’ health.
Ms Lewis says the firm has several farms in the UK and Ireland already using the technology and is now looking to expand its user base.
Installation of the system is straightforward, with standard camera systems sufficient for the software to generate data.
It typically takes a day, with farmers able to ‘plug and play’ the systems themselves or commission an electrician to do the work. Alternatively, Pondus offers an installation service.
“Pondus is formed from a unique combination of real poultry industry experience and those who are world-leading in the field of modern applications of computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“As a result, we are highly focused on delivering solutions to some of the industry’s biggest challenges in an affordable and accessible way.
“We understand biosecurity, finite labour resources, the hectic schedules and volatility which can be associated with poultry production.
“With these in mind, our team is 110% focused on every aspect of our products and services being clean, self-administering, and remotely supported.”