PIC’s Picks May 2012
By Tim Nelson Executive DirectorFeatures New Technology Production Animal Housing Poultry Production Production
With the most gentle of winters behind us, and an unprecedented warm start to the year, who can predict what’s ahead in 2012. Given the warm spring, it’s likely going to be a hot summer so it’s time to review barn cooling/ventilation systems. We’ve already had news of producers who have been caught by the early heat and while we haven’t heard of any bird losses yet, we know we need to be on top of temperature/ventilation management if we’re to ensure we don’t suffer productivity drops as a result of unusual weather conditions. It’s all about air movement, fans, ventilation systems, sprinkler systems, foggers, fresh drinking water (plenty of it) and control.
We know that you all know all of this already, and that you check this stuff regularly, but with this year’s early season, some of the basics may get passed over in favour of farming and a degree or two of unchecked barn temperature rise may well lead to serious productivity drops.
Who do you call for information/advice? You will undoubtedly have seen the wide variety of technologies that you can implement in your barn at the London Poultry Show. The Feather Forum magazine (the showguide) provides a great index of companies that have the equipment and expertise to help you manage the heat, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs also has some great impartial resources to help guide your decisions.
Productivity and Poultry Health are inextricably linked and are central to PIC’s research and education agenda. This year’s Research Day (May 8) will consider why we do poultry health research, and the cost of disease. It will include talks on cutting-edge poultry health research, and to give context and relevance to the day we have some producer testimonials about the impact of disease – linking health back to productivity.
What’s Changing Besides the Climate?
A big change in 2012 is that we are giving the Innovations Conference a rest. Why? Numbers have been declining over the last couple of years, a result, we believe, of the growing popularity and attendance at producer updates – some of which run in November. To balance this, the Innovations Conference will now run every other year, commencing in 2013. In the conference year we will only run three Producer Updates (all in February), and in the “in-between” year, we will run the usual five.
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