MSD Animal Health set to launch revamped platform to predict poultry health, prevent disease and improve performance

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Lydia Whitmore
© GettyImages/Lydia Whitmore

Related tags sensors MSD Animal Health Poultry

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the US and Canada, has been fine-tuning the range of IoT monitoring devices for poultry farming it acquired in 2021, with the idea of expanding the footprint of this digital technology, tailoring it to new markets, and reaching more customers.

Following the conclusion of the pilot phase, the platform will be rolled out in the UK, Brazilian, and US poultry markets in Q3 2023.

“We have a big opportunity today with SenseHub Poultry,” Henrique Casagrande, global poultry lead, MSD Animal Health, told us on a recent call.

Formerly known as Poultry Sense, the US business acquired the monitoring technology from a privately held company located in Exeter, UK in February 2021.

MSD Animal Health has one of the largest poultry vaccine portfolios, including products against most major pathogens and a focus on diseases affecting broilers, breeders, and layers;  nevertheless, it had been looking to broaden out its portfolio with complementary products and technologies to advance animal well-being and outcomes for its customers.

Identifying patterns 

SenseHub Poultry, just one of many recent MSD Animal Health acquisitions in this space, provides enhanced technology for poultry farmers to continuously track and analyze overall health performance for the life of the flock; it provides users the capability to measure, compare and record key health and environmental indicators captured by battery-powered, wireless sensors in the poultry barn, as well as to identify patterns and trends to predict health and well-being.

“The sensors allow farmers to monitor and assess vital parameters by measuring weight, water usage, humidity, light, temperature, and carbon dioxide. Farmers can therefore gain insight into the housing environment, as well as bird health and performance,” explained Casagrande.

Sensor-scales can feed live, accurate weight recordings into the analytics platform. This means any variation or a shift in growth rates can be recognized and acted upon immediately, he told us.

Ultimately, through leveraging this platform, MSD Animal Health can now combine biopharma and technological solutions to help customers detect disease early in their flocks, act on it, thereby boosting bird health and bringing greater efficiency to their operations, commented Casagrande. 

Development phase

The MSD Animal Health team has spent the past years evolving the technology, so that it can generate simple and pragmatic insights to support any intervention inside the broiler house, he said.

Feedback from MSD Animal Health poultry experts in different regions of the globe has informed that platform development work, ensuring that the data and the interface reflects the needs of poultry customers no matter where they are located, and that it generates precise information.

The platform is connected to the cloud, providing farmers with access to real-time data 24/7.

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