Emergency depopulation of chicken farms during an Avian Influenza Outbreak (Design and development of extraction system)
Muhammad Nashruddin Abdol Aziz
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority
As part of Singapore’s bird flu contingency plan, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) requires to depopulate the poultry farms in a speedy manner to eradicate the disease should there be an Avian Flu outbreak in Singapore. The current plan relies heavily on manpower, is highly time consuming and exposes many people to the zoonotic virus. While AVA has multiple safeguards in place to protect the operators, the Authority is in need of a more efficient and yet effective method of depopulating the farms as quickly as possible. There are currently three poultry layer farms in Singapore with a total population of an estimated number of 2 million chickens. The chickens are intensively housed in rows of tiered cages, in a closed housing system. The depopulation method is two pronged, which are to kill the birds and then to remove them. There is also the element of disinfecting the premises after depopulation. The current difficulties faced are the extremely narrow passageway between rows of poultry cages (only about 1 metre wide) and tiered cages that can go as high as 5 metres. In addition, the current method of extracting the chickens from the battery cages is by hands. This method of extraction may not prove to be the best as the method consumes a lot of human energy and may cause fatigue faster. This method may not be efficient during an emergency depopulation exercise and may posts potential safety concerns. The author identified that the method of the chicken extraction is the fundamental step in any emergency depopulation exercise. As such, the priority of this project is to design and improve the efficiency of the chicken removal from their cages. The author has since designed a mechanized method, simply called “Chicken Grabbers”, which uses the aid of mechanical grabbers, aiming to extract the chickens at a faster rate, and reducing human energy and fatigue at the same time. Simulated experiments proved that the proposed method helps to extract chickens faster,with the workers feeling less tired.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University