Sensor savings

A Wiltshire shoot says it has saved thousands of pounds worth of birds by installing a wireless alarm and monitoring system in its pheasant and partridge rearing pens, incubators and hatchers.

Adrian Brine, head keeper of Fifield Bavant Shoot, rears around 11,000 partridges and 7,500 pheasants near Salisbury. In successive seasons the shoot lost 1,000 partridge chicks due to a gas brooder going out and 3,000 point-of-hatching eggs through a fan failure in the hatching unit. He fitted an-internet-connected wireless sensor to monitor temperature and says it has already paid for itself several times over.

It has raised the alarm on more than 30 separate occasions last season alone.

“It would have been a real nightmare,” he said. He puts it down mainly to unusually windy weather blowing out the brooders, but sometimes the cause is inexplicable.

When an alarm is raised on the mobile phone it has to be acknowledged. If not, it redirects the alert to the under-keeper. Adrian can check each sensor remotely using his laptop connected to a secure website and he does this each evening. The information is updated every hour.

He used to physically check each pen at night as well as regularly during the working day. ?