The meeting with the Lombard grower Mr Ivan Susta was organised by Messrs Ezio Benedetti and Luca Pallavicini from the Tezza company who are the exclusive distributors of the Roxell product range in Italy. Mr Frank Hartmann, Marketing Manager of Roxell also took part in the visit.
A few months ago the Belgian company launched onto the market the CoMeo broiler feeder with its innovative design which allows for the maximum cleaning of each component part of the feeding system.
Mr Susta’s broiler farm is located in the small hamlet of Volongo in the province of Cremona. His father Francesco started the business in the early seventies rearing broilers and weaning piglets. For some years Ivan has worked alongside his father in the family business and is passionately dedicated to the management of their farms. Their operation is a family run business where Ivan and his father assisted by a young employee look after the housing, feeding and rearing of the livestock while Ivan’s wife Monia looks after the financial management of the company.
The farm consists of 3 broiler sheds and one for the piglets. For the last seven months Mr. Susta has had a contractual agreement with the Avicola Alimentare Monteverde company for the supply of broilers. The contract includes, for animal welfare reasons, a clause to ensure that the stocking density will not exceed 33 kilos of meat per square meter. To stay within these parameters broilers are collected for processing in three batches. The first being when birds reach a weight of 1.7 kg, the second when birds reach a weight of 2.6 kg with the final collection when birds weigh 3.8 kg.
We visited the two most recent broiler sheds, the first was renovated in 2012 while the other was refurbished 3 months ago. Ivan explained, with a degree of satisfaction, that the installation of solar panels gave them full autonomy in energy terms as well as savings on their utility bills and was environmentally friendly.
It is in one of these new buildings where the new Roxell CoMeo feeders have been installed. Mr. Ezio Benedetti was pleased to affirm “We were the first distributors to market the CoMeo feeder and Mr. Susta was the first broiler grower in the world to purchase and install the system”.
Mr. Frank Hartmann underlined that “The prime objective of Roxell is to develop products which take account of the needs of the grower. To achieve this it takes two years to develop and test a product before it is introduced onto the market. It is important that prototypes are field tested on local farms. Next we carry out further extensive field tests on commercial farms in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We listen and take on board the comments and suggestions from the growers in order to manufacture a product range that properly meets their needs. Only after having implemented the various suggestions are we ready to launch a product onto to the market. All these processes also took place for the CoMeo feeder”.
The birds we viewed in the shed were 40 days of age and to date the CoMeo feeder has performed to expectations. This new Roxell broiler feeding system has provided the chicks with optimal access to the feed and as such maximizes intake and minimizes feed wastage.
The CoMeo is Roxell’s first open pan feeding system. Removing the grill means broilers have easier access to feed right from day one. Chicks are unable neither to get into the feeding pan nor to occupy the feeding surface area. Mr. Luca Pallavicini explained that “This optimal start is due to the low height (around 60mm) and open design of the feeder pan which encourages feed intake.”
Another characteristic feature is ‘anti-waste’ rim round the pan that minimizes feed wastage. In fact during our visit we saw no evidence of feed in the litter around the feeders. Another feature of the system is the fact that the surface of the feeding pan is not smooth but stepped, which seems to minimize feed flying out of the pan as birds feed. The CoMeo feeding system has 3 levels of regulation which allows the grower to choose the appropriate level of feed based on the age and behavior of the flock thereby optimizing feed conversion rates.
The surprising features did not end there. The new CoMeo feeding system also incorporates a LED light in the control pan and a patented cleaning system. The LED light in the control pan is an efficient way to attract the birds and to guarantee a completely filled feeding line and feeding pans.
Mr. Frank Hartmann commented that “Authorities impose increasingly stringent hygiene regulations and the innovative design of the CoMeo feeders facilitates the cleaning of the feeding system. The patented snap system ensures that an in depth cleaning of all parts of the feeder takes place”.
In fact the CoMeo is the only feeder on the marketplace that exposes all components for cleaning – from the inside of the cone down to the pan.
Regarding the cleaning process Roxell have also given thought to another version of this innovative feeder to include a shutter to close off the opening of the feeding tube during the cleaning process.
The experience of Roxell in the field of aviculture coming from decades of operation and continuing close contact with growers has led to them to design and construct high quality equipment known for having maximum efficiency and minimal maintenance. In fact in last 45 years this Belgian company has introduced 33 new systems in addition to adaptations to existing products. Many of these systems started trends or have set standards for the industry such as Minimax, HaiKoo, Optimax, Hoxline, Bridomat; KiXoo, Vitoo and this surely will be the case for the new CoMeo.