In the poultry sector, there is a global trend towards choosing group nests over individual nests. Wannes Dermaut explains how farmers want to optimize house space and make smart investments.
By stating the obvious: automation reduces the amount of manpower needed. It’s the same in every sector, including poultry farming. Particularly when it comes to broiler breeders, you should never underestimate the extra profit that can be made through automation. The statistics are quite impressive:
- For non-automated feeding and manual layer nests, you need, on average, one full-time employee per 3,000 hens.
- Switching to mechanical feeding doubles the capacity to 6,000 hens per worker.
- Investing in nest automation increases this number to 12,000 hens per person.
- With an automated egg packager, you can even achieve a capacity of 18,000 animals per employee.
In addition, automation can allow you to increase the number of animals per house to maximize the profitability. However, there are limits to this. Breeder companies specify the minimum feeding area per hen. Therefore, the number of broiler breeders you can keep depends on the layout of your house. Your choice of nest type — group or individual — also plays a very important role in determining how many hens your house can accommodate.