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Farm uses lasers to guard hens from avian influenza

A British egg producer is using lasers as a novel way of protecting birds from avian influenza.

Orchard Eggs, based in West Sussex, is using Dutch laser technology to scare off wild migratory birds and prevent them from mixing with the farm’s outdoor flock, reports Poultry World.

As the British government has raised biosecurity requirements for poultry producers who want to keep their birds outdoors, the technology means the farm’s flock is able to roam freely.

The innovative technology is inspired by nature, as wild birds fly away from the laser because they think it is a physical object. Because hens are domesticated, they are unaffected by it.

Karen and Daniel Hoebrerichts, who own Orchard eggs, said the laser complements the farm’s other biosecurity measures.

“Our birds are housed across 50 acres of orchard and we want to do everything to keep them safe from infection,” said Daniel Hoebrerichts. “Once we heard about [the laser], it seemed like an ideal solution.”

The system was developed by Dutch company Bird Control Group, in cooperation with the Technical University of Delft in The Netherlands.

The laser is silent and shows 90 to 100% effectiveness in bird dispersal at farms, which the company says makes it a viable alternative to the expensive method of installing nets around the entire poultry farm.

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Posted on April 25, 2017

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