AI-Powered Remote Broiler Farm Management System Receives Funding

NetFLOX-XXL is an AI-powered remote broiler farm management system, which will use advanced artificial intelligence to improve productivity, sustainability and resilience in the broiler industry.

The project, which has received just under £1million from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Agricultural Innovation Programme, will build a scalable industrial demonstration system, helping industry improve well-being outcomes and get closer to net zero.

Wellness status and sick alert

Created by Flox, an early-stage AI company, the system is designed to provide poultry farmers with real-time data on the welfare of their flock and alert them to potential signs of disease. Advanced cameras and environmental sensors monitor the chickens 24/7, while AI analyzes unusual behavior.

The environment

Flox also monitors the environmental health of the sheds, with the system helping to prevent the types of weather variations that can affect herd health. It monitors and adjusts the environment to prevent costly heat stress events and alerts farmers to any issues with higher than normal ammonia temperatures, for example.

AI can also accurately estimate bird weight and temperature, ensuring that, if necessary, farmers can make changes to feeding schedules or spot signs of disease immediately.

Welfare

The Flox team includes Chairman Andrew Maunder, who developed and sold Devon-based processing company Lloyd Maunders to 2 Sisters and now chairs the RSPCA Chicken Standards Technical Advisory Group, and Dr Sarah Lambton, a lecturer at the University of Bristol in poultry welfare and husbandry systems. .

Lambton said the work could allow farmers to identify problems such as uneven weights high levels of lameness earlier and put in place tailored solutions.

A “gold mine” of data

In addition to receiving government funding, the investment also came from Morado Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund. Founding Partner Ash Patel said, “The magic of Flox is that the technology is in the software, rather than a large robotic structure that might require a huge upfront investment. The entire system is made up of 4k cameras that are linked to the company’s AI in the background. It’s about as easy to install as a home security camera system and comes with a monthly subscription.

“A farmer with dozens of barns, each with thousands of chickens, can only visit each barn once a day – if that’s the case – and that doesn’t give them a lot of data. Plus, they count on what they notice at any given time. Flox offers farmers a proverbial goldmine of data on the health and comfort of their chickens.

Certify the ethical treatment of animals

Patel added that the company was also well positioned to capitalize on an important trend – the ability to show objective data certifying the ethical treatment of animals.

Katrina Hayter, UK Research and Innovation Manager, Transforming Food Production, said there are huge opportunities for innovation in the food sector: “From animal health to crop productivity, through the introduction of strategic support technology and the precise application of chemicals, it’s exciting to see so many concepts start to come to life.

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