0 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2013 10:42 PM by NMBackYardChickenFarmer

    NM Galileo Project - Egg Layer Detection

    NMBackYardChickenFarmer

      My Problem:  To optimize my egg production costs, I want to determine which hens in my small flock are not producing eggs. I have 10-11 chickens which could be laying, but the most eggs I have been gifted with in 1 day is 8.  Are all these creatures earning their keep?

      Feature set:  RF ID tags on each bird;  1 RFID reader/nesting box (3); 1 scale/nesting box; 1 cameras/nesting box; Data logging; WiFi; and Dashboard;

      I found a nice inexpensive digital form on amazon.com that does not require a 'pre-step' to calibrate, rather has a 'step on start up'.  The scale also has 4 load cells which should provide good accuracy.  As the scale is the hardest of all features (I think) as I have not found a  'scale shield'  or kit, this is the first feature to be implemented.

      I have purchased some start up material:  A couple of RFID tags of different sizes, an RF ID reader; a data logging shield, the scale, some jumpers and a breadboard.   I pulled LEDs, resistors, jumpers, soldering equipment, etc. from storage.

      I have also played with the IDE environment and the Galileo board a bit ... only blinking lights at this point.  I hope to have a bit more time this weekend.  My goal will be to understand the performance of the scale, determine amplification and stabilization requirements.  I also will engage my son in measuring the weight of several dozen eggs to determine typical range of egg weights to be expected.  (egg weight is a by product of the algorithm along with some additional hen health metrics which can be tracked.

      My Plans:  Each chicken will have an RFID tag attached to it's leg band.  When the RFID reader senses the chicken in the nesting box, the event will logged with a date time stamp.  A camera in the front of the nesting box will be triggered to take and save a time stamped picture (to enable manual validation of the RFID event).  The scale reading will be saved.  The scale will continue to be sampled every 10-20 sec.  When the scale drops, a time-stamped event for the chicken departing the nesting box will be logged.  The post entry scale reading will be compared to the pre-entry scale reading; if the delta between these two readings is within the typical egg weight distribution, and time stamped egg-laying event will be associated with the last hen in the nesting box, and the event logged.  A top down camera will capture a top down picture of the nesting box (used to enable manual validation of the  the egg laying event call).

      Data Collected: pre-scale-reading; hen-in-nesting-box-weight; post-hen-scale-reading;

      Calculated Values:  Egg Weight, Hen Weight, Eggs/time period for each hen; time to lay an egg; time between egg laying events;  eggs/time period/nesting boc;

      Stretch Goals:  System to send tweets to record each event, Alarm signal in house when an egg is laid, environmental monitoring and controls.

      Plans:  Develop scale/weight system, develop RFID capability, integrate scale algorithm with RFID capability, Add camera shots, develop the nesting box prototype; develop the data transfer capabilities and dashboard. Re-build the real nesting box to fit the scale, set up the system in production.