Cargill uses AI tools to optimize broiler production

The US agribusiness giant’s animal nutrition business has built a portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI)-based innovations through proprietary development and strategic partnerships. The tools, he said, are designed to go beyond nutrition and help customers optimize their operations with actionable insights.

Its patent-pending Galleon microbiome analysis tool enables broiler producers to decide how changes in raw materials, feed, additives, vaccination programs and farm management practices could influence their herd’s microbiome, the company said.

Using a swab from a live bird, Cargill scientists then analyze the health of a client’s broiler flock using the Galleon Poultry Microbiome Database, which was developed over a decade using a global dataset and approximately 100 experimental studies. Analytics is further augmented using statistical analysis, machine learning and AI capabilities to provide growers with a report and recommended actions to address issues, he said.

And the results are unbiased toward a specific product, Cargill pointed out.

“Galeon was introduced to a number of customers and started to be used more frequently. This work is carried out with companies around the world and covers different markets, from food producers to poultry integrators”, Henk Enting, chief technology officer for Cargill’s animal nutrition business, told FeedNavigator.

Maturation of the microbiota Have

Galleon, he said, can identify reasons why different farms with the same inputs may have different performance results. In one case, he said, the team was able to determine why chickens from certain farms responded well to a higher concentration of additives in the diets while those from other farms did not perform as expected.

“The difference was in the maturation of the microbiota in the broilers. This has resulted in a direct focus on microbiota maturation by modifying the diet as well as adjusting management practices rather than focusing solely on the concentration of additives. Have

“After the focus change, we saw an improvement in performance, and [this development showed] the importance of focusing on the maturation of broiler microbiota. Have

Galleon also helped to identify another problem, namely that sudden changes in the composition of foods or specific raw materials could lead to an increase in [the presence of] Campylobacter​. “This is an important finding and work to better understand this is underway.”Have

Development phase Have

Development of the AI ​​tool actually began in 2009 as the hunt was on to find biomarkers to help reduce the use of antimicrobial growth promoters (AGPs), Enting explained.

“Around the same time, internal work to develop methods for the rapid detection of specific bacterial strains was underway. Both lines of work have been integrated and developed in the Galleon microbiota network. Over time, more biomarkers have been added to improve the link between bird performance and microbiota composition.Have

Regarding the extent of the test data on which Galleon is based, he said that early work was carried out mainly in the United States and the Netherlands, but the study locations were eventually extended. to cover all continents except Australia, and have included the assessment of different foods, housing conditions, climate and breeds.

And Enting said learnings to date suggest there is a clear relationship between the gut microbiome and bird performance and health. “Future work could focus on ways to direct development to improve bird performance and health. Of course, this can also include the development of new products.Have

© Cargill

3D camera for weighing broilersHave

Cargill has also partnered with digital specialist, Knex, to develop Birdoo, a technology that leverages proprietary computer vision and AI to gain hands-free, real-time flock insights with predictive modeling data.

The technology is designed to replace manual weighing with accuracy through 3D imaging, track broiler performance and weight variability in real time, reduce processing variability and save costs through better planning of the harvest.

Amber McKinzie, digital category manager for poultry and nutrition for Cargill’s animal nutrition business, told us that this 3D camera broiler weighing solution is the first of its kind on the market.

Cargill and Knex have entered into a partnership to distribute technology that addresses real-time management of broiler weight performance. Additionally, Cargill has signed an exclusive agreement to be the go-to-market provider of this technology in the Americas. ” Have

She explained that Birdoo uses 3D cameras with artificial vision to monitor flocks. It processes these images and applies AI to turn the data into weight estimates.

birdoo cargill
Birdoo technology in situ in a chicken coop © Cargill

Sample size is higher with Birdoo than with manual weights or scales, which helps improve accuracy. Users can view current body weights and predict growth distribution curves in real time until harvest. In some cases, Birdoo replaces the need for manual bird weights, which is safer and less stressful for the people and animals involved.Have

A cloud-based platform enables farmers, technical assistants, nutritionists, production planner and management to track animal performance and anticipate issues for better resolutions and results, it said. she stated.

“One of the benefits of a cloud-based system is that our customers can configure it to give users access to current weights and growth forecasts to help them be more effective in their roles. Rather than looking in the rear view mirror, these users know what’s going on with their herd’s performance today and what’s in store to make better decisions on nutrition, herd management and harvest planning,”McKinzie continued.

Power Savings Have

Weight prediction data helps planners harvest flocks more efficiently and sustainably by improving feed conversion and saving feed, on average 10-30g per bird, reducing variability and the number of downgrades at the packing plant, McKinzie added.

“By using Birdoo to measure and predict the body weight of birds in real time, producers know exactly the best time to harvest birds. Good harvest planning often involves knowing when birds reach target weight and harvesting as well. close as possible. For a producer with 1.2 million average-sized birds per week, the savings on feed really add up every year. For flocks kept more days on the farm, knowing when the birds reach the peak of the growth curve is key to knowing when feed conversion becomes less efficient. Have

“For some growers, reduced variability means fewer downgrades at the packhouse, which can lead to additional profit opportunities.” Have Have

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