Broiler bedding – “A keen eye for Welfare delivers Productivity and Quality”
Oliver Hoddinott is a specialist broiler grower located close to Wells in Somerset. Mr Hoddinott took over the unit around 7 years ago, with capacity to around 1.5m chickens/yr. in 2014. The farm produces birds under contract, with chicks delivered at 1 day old, and shipped out at 40 days. Oliver adds “revenue depends enormously on quality, with a high productivity being essential. Because the chicks and the feed are delivered to us to a standard specification, bedding is one of the influential factors that I control that enables me to optimise margins on the farm”.
Oliver currently uses a Tomahawk 404 Mill fitted with a 21mm sieve to process rape straw – it is important to use a mill fitted with hammers as this exposes the fibres to make the straw more absorbent. Oliver has also trialled wheat straw, but this tended to ‘cap’, significantly reducing the quality of the bed.
Biosecurity is clearly very important to Oliver and reflects the attention to detail that his flock receives from start to finish. To this end the Tomahawk has been retrofitted with a tank that can apply an anti-bacterial agent to the straw as it is discharged into the broiler sheds.
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