A farm in West Sussex that produces organic eggs has started using laser technology in the fight against avian influenza.
Orchard Eggs has opted to allow its hens to range outdoors after the compulsory housing order ended on 28 February.
While many farmers have decided to allow their birds outdoors once again and preserve their free-range status, others have opted to continue to house their birds in order to protect them against the threat of infection from wild birds.
Daniel Hoeberichts, owner of Orchard Eggs, has installed an automated laser system called Agrilaser Autonomic developed by Dutch firm Bird Control Group, in cooperation with the Technical University of Delft, in the Netherlands. The laser is silent and disperses 90 to 100% of birds, he said.
“Our birds are housed across 50 acres of orchard and we want to do everything to keep them safe from infection,” said Hoeberichts. “It seemed like an ideal solution to complement all of our other biosecurity measures.”