Farm staff and automation
The implementation of automatic equipment on farms requires certain aspects to be considered in relation to the personnel who work there and who will use and take care of these equipment and will take full advantage of them.
The first stage to face once it has been decided to automate the farm is that there will be a reduction in staff as in any automation and this is important to communicate as soon as possible to the people involved.
The first reaction is instinctive, fear of losing their job, fear of being replaced by better trained personnel, fear of facing new technologies, the usual “is that we have always done so”, resistance to the reduction of staff because they think they will work more for the same salary.
The work of the module, farm or area manager is very important. This person must convey the benefits and advantages of automation, both for the farm staff and for the company and explain the optimization that will be obtained will be reflected in better productive results and therefore better productivity bonuses.
As time goes by, the person in charge will realize about the reduction of personnel, that although it is not a pleasant activity, it is a point that has to be faced with all integrity and honesty.
The farm manager will be the one who has the most contact with the management of the automatic equipment and is one of the first who must be convinced of the benefits that automation will bring, to transmit that same ideology to the farm staff, as well as convince them of the role so important that each of them plays in this new strategy.
This person should be prepared to accompany all farm personnel in the training process (especially if they are insecure or unconvinced) and provide the support they require at all times.
It is also important to train a farm manager, since it is common for there to be only one maintenance manager in a group of farms or areas and when the latter cannot immediately address a problem related to the equipment, the farm manager must resolve the temporary problem or definitely.
Although we have talked about a reduction in personnel, there are managements that need personnel to be carried out and that should be considered, such as the reception of the chicken, the first week handling process, the filling of feeders or manual drinkers, the Chicken selection process if it is done prior to sale and in some cases until the vaccination and loading of the birds if there are no crews for this purpose, the washing and disinfection of the farm.
The most common solution is to implement crews as long as the same number of workers is not reached before the automation is implemented, and if it is not possible to increase or implement these crews, biosafety must be compromised, making internal crews with personnel the same farms and solve these important maneuvers for obtaining the final result.
Now, even using automatic systems on the farm there are some companies that combine them with manual equipment such as the JAT Pre-starter feeder at the initiation stage, which allows to solve the problem of continuous filling, because filling it to its full capacity decreases the constant service of food purchased with the starter tray.
On the water supply side, there are farms that use drinkers for the initiation stage and in some cases they are filled only once before the arrival of the birds and when they are emptied they are removed. JAT has a solution that allows you to increase the time that this equipment is used with the 6-liter drinker, which allows you to have it longer in the house, compared to the 4-liter drinker.
There is also the automatic starter drinker on the floor that completely eliminates the use of manual drinkers and is a good support for the hydration of the birds in the first week of life without having to take care of filling the drinker and can be used until consider that the hydration provided by the nipple drinker is sufficient for the birds. In this type of trough, care must be taken to adjust the float to avoid wetting and packing position.
Thus, the Jat technical service department offers to the client the possibility to train their staff at all times before and after the installation of automatic equipment to help the person in charge of raising awareness of the advantages and pros they will face with the acquisition and commissioning of the equipment. To achieve a friendly transition that benefits the company, the staff and obviously the birds.