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Leveraging Reliable Alarms: A Lifeline for Flock Management

August 14, 2023

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Maddy McGarry

Product Marketing Manager

“You can’t put a dollar value on peace of mind.”

That’s what Zach Holmes, a contract grower for Mar-Jac in Hackleburg, Alabama, says when it comes to having reliable alarms for monitoring his birds. As a grower, Zach has found that affordable alarm systems available to the poultry industry are few and far between.

Searching for a Better Solution

“There’s not very many up-to-date alarm systems for poultry growers. They’re kind of out of touch with farmers and pretty expensive.”

Zach Holmes Temp Sensor

Zach started working as a poultry grower five years ago. His wife’s family has been raising birds since 1993, which led him to get involved in the poultry industry. Zach monitored his birds using Agri-Alert, but found its limited functionality restricted him from being able to leave his site when he wasn’t checking on his birds.

Along with having little visibility from alarm calls that provided little detail on the problem, power failure was another issue Zach faced with using a hardwired alarm. “If the power went out, and your external battery wasn’t charged, you were pretty much dead in the water.” Its susceptibility to lightning strikes was no exception.

Reassurance with Reliable Monitoring

Zach was looking for a modern way to monitor his birds without the burden of high costs. He needed a reliable system, and wanted the ability to leave his site when he didn’t need to be there. After researching his options, he says “BarnTalk was the best fit for me.”

“BarnTalk was super simple to set up myself. I didn’t have to pay any installation fees or anything.”

Along with temperature, humidity, and ventilation, Zach is using BarnTalk to monitor water inside his poultry houses — something he says is a crucial indicator of flock health for any grower.

Chicks and Temp Sensor
“With water, if you’re losing water consumption, you might have a feed line that isn’t working. If your chickens aren’t eating, they’re not drinking. With BarnTalk, I can see if water consumption is down. I’ll swing by and see what the problem is.”

Above everything else, Zach says having dependable alarms and real-time visibility has provided him with greater reassurance. “Although an alarm is no substitute for daily maintenance and routine checks, it is a lifeline and a great tool for emergency notifications and peace of mind.”

“Knowing I could be at my house, or my son’s sports activities, and know what’s going on was a big factor,” he said. “I can visually see what’s going on with BarnTalk.”

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