Today Eyes on Animals brainstormed with the chairman of Peer Systeem. Peer Systeem developed an automated system to catch, load and transport broilers. The system is currently being used in a Czech poultry slaughterhouse. The broilers are caught with a machine and transported to a mechanically ventilated poultry truck on a conveyor belt. There is little to no contact between humans and animals and the broilers remain upright during catching and loading. This is an advantage compared to the commercial catching method by which chickens are manually lifted by one leg and then thrown into containers with multiple animals at once. Because one barn usually has tens of thousands of broilers, fatigue and indifference among the catchers are likely to occur.
We brainstormed how conveyor belts can also be used during the catching and loading of laying hens. Laying hens live in aviary systems which have different levels. To grab the hens, catchers often have to climb up and then “pass the hens to each other”. Catching machines in these systems are not an option as there are too many obstructions. But by using raised and mobile conveyor belts next to the aviary system, the hens can be placed on them, causing the work to be much lighter for the catchers. This way, more focus could be on the hens themselves, and the human-animal contact can be limited.
We want to thank Peer Systeem for the positive talk and the sharing of their knowledge and contacts. We will work on the joint ideas and make them more concrete.