Roxell: Feeding and husbandry solutions, the natural way
In an interview with eFeedLink, Frank Hartmann, marketing manager at Roxell, explains why the company's approach of taking into account the natural behaviour of the animal when developing each feeding or husbandry solution is proving to be a success even during these challenging times, against the backdrop of COVID-19 and emerging diseases such as bird flu and African swine fever.

eFeedLink: While 2020 had been a challenging year for Roxell due to the COVID-19 situation, the company made a number of notable achievements such as: selling one million units of its new modular MiniMax™ broiler feeder; commencement of the manufacturing of its Flex-Auger™ transport system in Malaysia. Please share with us more about these developments.

Hartmann: For the MiniMax broiler feeder, the one million units sold represents more than 2,000 farms or individual houses. MiniMax has always been one of Roxell's top selling products but the fact that we were able to sell this large amount of units in 5 months and this during a worldwide lockdown, is indeed a wonderful result. It means that a modular feeder pan was something the poultry market was waiting for. We can now meet the preference and way of working of different broiler farmers with one single feeder pan.

The manufacturing of the Flex-Auger transport system in our plant in Malaysia was in response to requests for custom service and shorter lead times for customers in the Asia and Oceania region. In general, the increased demand for Flex-Auger can be linked to to the growth in animal protein production in the region.

But additional growth also comes from the current focus on biosecurity with overhead systems for new and existing farms, in terms of reducing the risk of transmitting diseases such as avian influenza and African swine fever. With this kind of system, you can keep trucks away from the houses. To limit the risk of infection, trucks deliver the feed at the edge of the site. The Flex-Auger feed transport system transfers the feed to inside the company fences and fills the feed bins. Flex-Auger will also move feed from your feed storage bins to the house or to an internal feeding system within the house. It can also transport feed between houses. The system therefore provides a flexible solution regardless of the layout of the houses or height-related obstacles.

Components of the Flex-Augertransport system

eFeedLink: Roxell has often stressed that for each new product launch it takes the natural behaviour of the animal into account to be sure the product is well accepted by the animals. Please enlighten us on this concept which goes behind each product developed by Roxell.
Hartmann: All the design and development phases of a new product are carried out internally. So also the tests with living animals, which happen first internally in the Roxell Innovations Center and later externally in test houses. We learn a great deal from this. By following this process for more than 50 years we have gained a great knowledge and insight into the interaction between the animals and our products. It is really the core of our know-how. Roxell's products - from the laying nests to the feeder pans - are always tailored to the animal and its growing phase. Next to that Roxell has always focused on animal welfare. Because healthy, stress-free animals grow better but also because we find it important that animals are being treated well.

I will give some specific examples for which the premise of natural behaviour and social instincts of chickens and pigs,was essential when developing of solutions:

a. Our Natural Beak Smoothing concept

Natural Beak Smoothing is the best alternative to beak treatments (hot blade or infrared debeaking). It is a solution that we incorporate into our existing oval feeder pans for broiler breeders: Vitoo™, KiXoo®, and Boozzter™.
The bottom of the feeder pan has been fitted with a rough texture made from metal. When chickens eat, their beaks rub against the rough texture of the pan bottom. This controls the growth of their beaks in a natural way. As a result, the chickens develop well-formed beaks.

The KiXoo (left) and Boozzter (right) feeding pans, showing close-ups of the rough texture made from metal for natural beak smoothing
The extra cost is no reason to miss out, as an investment in Natural Beak Smoothing can be recouped within two years. In addition, you save on feed costs, have healthier and more uniform animals, and, eventually, you will have more fertilised eggs.
b. Animal-friendly perch guard

For bird welfare, we encourage the birds not to sit in, or on top of, the pan or drinking cup. We devised an animal-friendly perch guard for this. In this case, two solutions were developed, SPINsoft and a triangular profile.
c. Comfortable nest for happy hens and growers

To prevent hens from becoming broody and for hygiene reasons, hens need to leave the nest every day. The Roxell expulsion system encourages hens to leave the nesting area, in an animal-friendly way, so you can close the nest after they have left. The system gives the chickens a nudge, so they leave the nest peacefully.
eFeedLink: We also heard that you have updates for our readers this year. Please tell us more.
Hartmann: At the end of February Roxell has expanded its range of convection heaters for poultry and swine with three new types.
For clean indoor air, there is the Siroc Pure™ space heater with closed combustion and a long horizontal airflow, which is essential in large spaces. The Siroc Hydro™ hot water heater removes the combustion process from the animal's living space entirely and allows you to use alternative fuels. For a direct fired appliance, opt for the Siroc Turbo™ cannon heater with open combustion.

The expansion of the range of heaters means that every livestock company can find a reliable, safe and high-quality heating system for them at Roxell. There is a solution for every situation including fuel type, house volume and climate.
With Fidos farrowing, we are adding a smart dispenser to our electronic sow feeding segment. This feeding system for individual housed sows stimulates milk production, as it allows you to make adjustments according to the individual feed requirements of a sow. This results in piglets that grow more consistently and reach a higher weaning weight. This smart dispenser can also be used in the insemination house. In the gestation house, where sows live in groups, the smart Fidos feeding station is the best choice. Therefore, Fidos is the best feed solution for a better sow condition in every stage of the production cycle.


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