Transport Genie Ltd., an ag innovation company based in Guelph, Ont., has teamed up with Prodavi SA one of the largest integrated poultry companies in Switzerland, to test smart sensor technology on poultry trucks.
Transport Genie captures real-time data from livestock trailers and relays it wirelessly to drivers and livestock managers.
The system uses a network of smart sensors placed throughout a livestock hauler to monitor variables such as temperature and humidity, as well as driver behaviours such as braking and acceleration. The sensors can also be used to control devices such as cooling fans and drinkers.
By capturing data en route, drivers and managers can make changes to aimed at enhancing livestock comfort and improving animal welfare during transport.
Beginning this month, Transport Genie sensors will be installed on Prodavi trucks that are used to haul day-old chicks from the company’s hatchery to its network of contracted poultry farms across Switzerland.
“Protecting farmed animal welfare is a global concern and we’re very pleased to partner with one of Europe’s leading companies to advance Transport Genie sensor technology,” said Joel Sotomayor, president and chief executive officer of Transport Genie Ltd.
Prodavi transports more than 1.5 million day-old layer chicks to poultry farms each year, then buys them back at 18 weeks old and sells them to production farms where they begin laying eggs.
The company also transports more than 15 million hatching eggs across Switzerland each year.
Switzerland is recognized as a world leader in promoting farmed animal welfare, and Swiss consumers have shown they’re willing to pay more for locally produced meat, poultry and eggs from producers who follow the highest standards, said André Hodel, chief executive officer of Prodavi SA.
“For us, it’s really important that we have full transparency, so we can show our customers that we’re doing right by the animals at every stage of their lives. It’s about trust,” said Hodel.
“With Transport Genie, we can track those details in real time, so the driver knows what’s going on in the truck at all times and can react very quickly to correct any problems,” he added.
Transport Genie is also collaborating with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon on a project that uses wireless sensors to help sanitize livestock trailers.
The project could lead to a new sanitation processes aimed at reducing the transmission of deadly livestock diseases, such as porcine epidemic diarrhea and African swine fever.