Water consumption monitoring is often associated with urban water supply networks and infrastructure, but it also has a wide application and distinct importance for farming and agriculture. One of ThingLog’s early water consumption monitoring projects was implemented on a poultry farm located in a remote location in Australia.
Studies show that chickens eat nearly a quarter of their weight on the first day of lives. By the end of the first week, a 40-gram chicken eats about 150 grams of feed, which results in a weight gain of 140 g. This means a feed conversion ratio of approximately 0.5 kg (Alqhtani, 2016). Intensive growth rate in the first week is only achievable IF chickens consume to plenty of water. Early identification of water intake problems in the first few days of chickens’ life can be vital.
Our client runs a poultry farm of 10 thousand chickens. The farm is located in the Australian outback – water is supplied by a tank and the access to electricity is limited. The installations are not reliable and water supply interruptions are frequent. When this happens, the farmer needs to know immediately so that he can react promptly. He also wants to monitor the chickens’ water consumption trends, as they indicate their health status.
For this specific case, ThingsLog offers an extremely compact water monitoring solution that farmers can install on-site themselves. The solution consists of several low power, wireless data logging devices linked to a mobile application. They measure, record, and chart water consumption in the water drinkers, as well as water pipe pressure.
The solution allows the farmer to monitor changes in the water consumption and keep an eye on the water tank level. Pressure drops in the water supply network indicate imminent interruption. Ongoing tracking and configurable notifications send an early warning and shorten the reaction time for the farmer before critical damages occur.
The IoT based water monitoring solution offers superb ROI and affordability. Acquisition and maintenance costs are incomparably lower than potential losses in case of failure to identify water supply interruptions and prevent reduced water intake during periods of accelerated growth.
Here are some examples:
Increasing water consumption in a poultry farm
The graph above illustrates the water consumption patterns on the farm (10 thousand chickens)
Water consumption in a chicken farm: Day 10
Water consumption in a chicken farm: Day 30
A sudden drop in water consumption
A sudden drop in the pressure of the water supply network
The accurate measurement of water consumption benefits livestock farming. Farmers who understand the importance of monitoring water consumption improve their odds to balance successfully flock health and poultry raising costs. Science has demonstrated the correlation between optimal water intake, feeding, and yields.
A declining water intake curve usually means reduced feeding rates and hints impaired growth. Other possible causes could be temperature fluctuations, or undiagnosed disease. A careful inspection could potentially expose problem with the irrigation system or water tank leaking.
Regardless of the reasons, the remote water supply monitoring solution for farmers is one of the most cost-effective methods to track and control livestock water intake and secure optimal living conditions.