Production: Hayter’s Farm produces 160,000 toms a year for parts markets (breast, legs, ground turkey, value-added products) and 40,000 hens for whole bird holiday markets. All flocks are RWA (raised without antibiotics) and sometimes flocks are also customer-ordered to receive a vegetarian diet.
Equipment: The farm’s two new barns are curtain-sided to provide copious amounts of fresh air and sunlight. Heating is provided by radiant tubes hanging down from the ceilings. Internet-based barn control is achieved through a Rotem Platinum Plus system, which automatically adjusts environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, and controls waterflow to drinkers, automated scales and sprinklers. The automated scales are placed in central locations and birds naturally hop onto them, providing about 300 weight measurements per day.
Innovation factor: The Rotem system allows Hayter’s to analyze short and long-term trends in terms of feed, water consumption and weight gain, so anomalies are identified quickly and corrective action can be taken. The automated daily weighing allows much greater efficiency in forecasting when to take birds to market compared to manual weighing, with less stress on individual birds and the entire flock. “This feature will definitely be included in future barn renovations and builds,” adds farm manager Justin Hayter.
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