Arinifu digital brooder. The device is used to monitor chicks brooding space and relay real-time information to the farmer. Photo: Zablon Oyugi
Arinifu, a technology company based in Nairobi that aims to enhance farming through technological innovation has launched a simple digital brooder made of a small analogue computer, some sensors and infrared lamps that can be used to monitor chicks brooding space and relay a real-time information to the farmer through Short Message Service (SMS) hence ensuring farmers of peace of mind all time.
The smart brooder is a system which constitutes of 3 – 5 sensors that take readings throughout the brooding space and relay the data to a small analogue computer which is programmed to determine the age of the chicks and regulates the conditions in the brooding space to meet the chicks’ requirement at that specific age.
“Our device is such a simple one to use such that whenever it receives a request from the farmer or when there is a condition it cannot rectify it sends that information immediately to the farmer,” said George Chege, Arinifu ICT officer during East Africa Farmers Digital conference last week at KALRO headquarters.
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According to Chege, Waking up at night thinking or worrying about the chicks will be something of the past. Farmer(s) can get updates on their phones with much convenience, anywhere and at any time.
“Just with affordable SMS bundles from network operators, it will virtually cost very little.”
The device which requires electric or solar power to run and control the infrared lamps of 250 wats each and the catalogue computer is currently also able to control infrared catalytic gas brooders for heating requirements in the brooding space which is made safer for the chicks.
“We enhance the brooding structure to ensure there are no sharp corners where chicks may potentially huddle and easily suffocate each other. Insulation is also incorporated to reduce heat loss and thus save on energy,” said Chege.
The system is also made of an insulation material placed on top of the brooding space to prevent upward heat loss and wood shavings placed on the floor to reduce the effect of large temperature variations.
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Any brooder must be designed to minimize stress, since stress drastically reduces the chicks’ immunity, making them susceptible to diseases they might otherwise resist. Stress is minimized by making sure the chicks are neither too cool nor too warm besides having a clean and safe environment for their survival.
“We recognize that the main environmental determinant that affects young chicks is temperature and knowing that day old chicks require temperatures of around 32-35 degrees Celsius, we install a few temperature sensors the smart brooder that constantly monitor the temperature within the brooding space and relay the data to a “small on board computer” for processing in real time,” explained Chege.
There are also humidity sensors which tell the humidity condition within the brooder.which is sent to the system for analysis and will always alert the farmer in case the humidity goes beyond the recommended range.
“This helps the farmer avoid any danger on the chicks as humidity is the main cause of disease outbreaks in a brooder or chicken coop,” said Chege.
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In addition the system reminds the farmer to offer vaccinations to te chicks to avoid severe effects in case of any disease attack. This helps to prevent and control contagious poultry diseases.
“The use of vaccines in poultry production is aimed at avoiding or minimizing the emergence of clinical disease at farm level, thus increasing production.”
Arinifu Technologies can be reached on +254 792 864 112 or email@example.com or www.arinifu.com