Thursday 11 July 2013

Control in mobile hen houses!

Stallbau Iris Weiland e. K. based in Bad Sooden- Allendorf in North Hesse (D) has gained a solid footing in the free-range poultry farming business with its innovative mobile hen houses. The company uses the Logo! logic module for small-scale automation solutions from the Siemens Industry Automation Division to control everything from feeding to lighting.

The increasing demand for high-quality foods in keeping with strict animal welfare principles has made free-range management of laying hens one of today’s growth industries. The mobile hen house models from Weiland are capable of accommodating 225, 800 and 1,200 laying hens, and provide an animal-friendly alternative to stationary hen keeping. Stationary solutions can give rise to considerable problems in the chicken run as a result of feed and parasite accumulation. The maximum mobility afforded by this innovative management system provides a solution here. Various functions required in the hen houses are partially or fully automated – depending on the model – by the 0BA7 series Logo! logic module in 12/24 V DC technology from Siemens: from feeding and lighting through to automatic opening and shutting of the exit flaps. Logo! also controls the accumulators and opens and closes the nesting boxes.

One of the decisive factors in choosing the Logo! logic module was its capacity for fast program modifications using an SD memory card. Program changes can be sent by email without the need to send costly components through the post or transport them in person to the site. The “Astro Clock” function module also precisely controls opening and closing times and automatically changes over from summertime to wintertime depending on the geographical location of the hen house on the basis of exact times pre-programmed for every day of the year. The program controlled interruption of darkness phases is also possible by switching on the hen house lighting, for instance where the daily rhythm is required to start in the early hours of the morning.

Logo! was launched in 1999
and featured in the first full
colour issue of Read-out!
The mobile hen houses can be easily towed into a new position by tractor, allowing poultry farmers to transport them complete with their occupants to fresh pastures on a weekly basis. This ensures that pastures remain intact, and provide the hens with a daily supply of green matter to feed on. After only a few weeks, there is sufficient regrowth of the turf to permit repeated use. The hen houses are designed on multiple levels and provide everything the hens require: a continuous supply of dry litter for pecking and scratching, as well as different levels for feeding, drinking, laying and roosting. These contented hens lay an average of 92 to 95 eggs over a hundred days. The closed floor panel allows the mobile hen house to be used in water conservation areas. The hydraulic chassis and low-pressure soilprotecting tires also guarantee safe mobility in almost any kind of weather and on uneven terrain. The launch of a new mobile chicken house equipped with a Logo! logic module clearly demonstrates the transferability of this successful concept.

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