An App-etite for Innovation!

Smartphones have changed the way we access, use and share information. “Apps” are a huge part of this technological revolution. It seems like nowadays you can find an app for pretty much anything- games, cooking classes, sports updates, language lessons, music, photography, gardening and everything  in between. Well, we’re not about to be left behind as technology thrusts the world forward! Vets without Borders, LifeLearn and the International Development and Research Centre teamed up to develop an app that will help PAHWs improve smallholder poultry management in rural Laos.

Selection and Reproduction (L), Nutrition and Feeding (C) and Housing (R)

The app was designed to be simple and user-friendly. Each section has tons of pictures, video and audio to make the app more interactive and interesting for farmers and PAHWs. Users can tap the screen with their finger to move through different sections and scroll up or down to see everything on the page. The app is a gateway to tons of important information on:

1. Selection and Reproduction

  • Flock Management
  • Hatching Management
  • Brooding Management
  • Parent-Stock Keeping

2. Nutrition and Feeding

  • Benefits of Good Nutrition
  • Improving Feed Quality (Energy, Protein, Vitamins and Minerals)
  • Improving Feed Practices

3.Housing

  • Benefits of Good Housing
  • Types of Housing
  • Housing Equipment

So how can the Poultry App be used in real life?

Pretend you’re a PAHW. You get a call from a farmer in your village. She’s worried because none of the eggs her hen lays are hatching. There are many reasons why this could happen so you meet her at her farm to assess the situation. She shows you into the chicken coop and points to eggs. You feel one of the eggs and notice that it’s soft. She also mentions that her chickens suffer from leg lameness. You know from your experience as a farmer and a PAHW that good feed quality is important for strong bones and shells. So you reach for your smartphone and tap the Poultry App. From the menu you select “Nutrition and Feeding”, then “Improving Feed Quality”. You check each tab and until you land on “Mineral Content”. Aha! The app tells you that chickens need minerals to develop strong bones, and to produce hard shells around the eggs. The app also gives you examples of mineral sources that you can use as ingredients in poultry feed. You share this information with the farmer using the pictures from the app. Now she knows that she can use her kitchen scraps to feed her chickens and make them healthier! 

Want to improve poultry management for rural smallholder farms in Laos? There’s an app for that!

 

For more information on Vets without Borders or to make a contribution to our cause, please visit our website:

https://www.vetswithoutborders.ca/donate

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