The Galilee Research Institute (MIGAL) is participating in a two-year-long project, “Enhancing environmental sustainability of livestock farms by removing barriers for adopting ICT technologies (LivestockSense)”, funded by the Israeli Innovation Authority in collaboration with ERA-NET COFUND ICT-AGRI-FOOD. The LivestockSense project aims to assess the acceptance and applicability of information and communication technology (ICT) in poultry farming, and develop tools to assist farmers in getting information that is more accurate on the vitality of the broilers.
Utilisation of modern, ICT-based tools as a support of precision livestock farming (PLF) in the poultry-houses aim to improve the profit of the farmers as well as the welfare of the broilers, and has environmental impacts. The generation of greenhouse gases (Carbon dioxide [CO2] and Ammonia [NH3]) is affecting not only the climate but also the broilers and the people around the poultry houses.
In addition, the project in Israel will target the identification/removal of social barriers in the farmers’ communities for technology adoption, to achieve a wider use of ICT on farms, and enhance implementing new and innovative tools and methodologies in coops.
The activities are in collaboration with the “Lulei Of-HaGalil Integration” and the poultry slaughterhouse and will be examined in several Kibbutzim. This will be achieved by selecting and supplying a number of farms in the Galilee with sensors and special cameras (RGB and Thermal cameras), which are able to monitor the environmental condition of the poultry buildings and the vitality of the broilers. The methodologies to be developed will provide continuous and real-time data to the management of the farm, based on the control systems of the coops.
The use of ICT in poultry houses in Israel was found to be quite widespread, and therefore the implementation of the methodologies and equipment to be developed could be successful if it can show benefit for investments.
MIGAL will play an important role in designing and carrying out social activities with farmers, organising workshops and training courses, based on the methodologies to be developed to examine how the vitality of the broilers can be a tool for the farmers to identify early signs of problems before it can be seen by the farmer. The control of emission of gases from broilers will also be coordinated with the farmers’ organisation in view of the Green Deal strategy.
In collaboration with our colleagues in Karpacz, Poland, we visited a large poultry company and examined their activities in using computer systems and methods for hens’ welfare.