The weather turned cooler…. the turkeys fared well. The giant buffalo gnats swarming outside my office (and occasionally inside) seem comparatively easy to deal with….
In a previous post we compared flock-level assessment (the current industry standard) to the potential of recording live, individual-animal performance. The latter would enable us to develop comparisons of animals within the same environment—that is, assess “inter-individual variation.” Previously, we also talked about “why” doing so makes sense. Today I’ll describe “what” we’ll do in more detail.
Our system singulates live animals… we measure their performance individually. Specifically, we utilize (1) scales to assess weight and (2) infrared thermography and digital imaging.
The Lacuna approach will weigh birds individually at two points: loading on the farm and unloading at the processing plant. We will then compare weight spectrums within the same environment (the same barn)… Weight is far and away the number one economic factor for animal production.
Along with individual weight through singulation, the system will record digital and infrared images. Check out the homepage of the website; one of images rotating through is a digital picture and an infrared picture of a turkey’s swollen foot. Scanning seeks to find any abnormalities that may indicate genetic problems and/or poor handling – for example, “hot spots” (indicating infection) or deformed body parts (indicating impairment).
If you’ve been through security at an airport, you’ve been singulated: you line up single file and are scanned. Lacuna Technologies proposes a similar approach to animal assessment.
The data stream supplied by this scanning affords the user with “inter-individual variation” – again, comparing an individual animal’s performance with that of its brothers and sisters in the same environment. We believe that combining these insights with data from the entire flock data will enable the supply chain to better define the true individual animal performance and relate it to both genetics and live production handling choices. In short, we offer a valuable tool which, when combined with current standard assessment tools, offers unprecedented insights into animal state of being.
Through collection of live-individual performance utilizing visual analyses, Lacuna Technologies bestows a continuous stream of facts—and puts a modern stamp on a statement written centuries ago: “The eye of the master fattens the cattle.”