Aviagen breeder farm constructs durable 
run off dam coverings

The Aviagen broiler breeder farm located near Goulburn in NSW recently completed a scheme to protect run off/sediment settling dams from biosecurity risks.

Rod Martin, Polytex’s General Manager and National Sales Contact, approached Poultry Digest in late April and was invited to an inspection of the dam coverings, their novel construction and the chance to get out of the house for a good and positive story.

The farms, at Tirrannaville, are located in a sensitive rainwater catchment area and the NSW Water Authority has strict protocols in place to ensure the overall safety of water supply.

The state of the art 650 acre five farm complex, was completed in 2015 to cater for growing demand for Ross genetics as not only had Australian demand grown, but also the need for day old chicks to supply into the SE Asian region.

When opened by the Federal Member for Hume, Angus Taylor, in April 2015, the facilities employed 32 people.

The pond’s main purpose is to capture run off and sediment settling. In simple terms, though any open water source is a bio security hazard, especially on a breeder farm, “their
existence is essential to operate the farm in that area which is otherwise ideal,” Wayne Miller from Aviagen told Poultry

Uncovered ponds would obviously attract water fowl which is an unacceptable biosecurity hazard.

Polytex was awarded the scope of work based on its exclusive Texnet Fabric woven with a high UV Filament to remove the threat of such hazards.

The construction of the pond covers equated to a total surface area of 38,500m² and involves the use of sturdy galvanized steel posts spaced about two metres apart around the circumference of the ponds.

A tensioned configuration allows the Polyethylene Texnet to be kept taught and is strategically levelled just above the pond surface.

“The pond covers, though specifically constructed to suit the terrain and requirements of the Tirrannaville broiler breeder site, are readily adaptable for other livestock farming applications such as piggeries,” Rod explained.

Polytex also manufactures customised impervious covers using its Aquatex line of fabrics to minimise evaporation and assist with water conservation which has seen rewarding outcomes and results during the recent unprecedented drought and harsh climatic conditions we are faced with in this country.

Apart from the new pond covers, Polytex has already supplied fan covers to the Tirrannaville Aviagen sheds which we were also able to inspect on the farm visit.

Biosecurity on the farm is tight as would be consistent with any broiler breeder facility, but on the day of the visit, the Aviagen team with Rod Martin and Malcolm Pascoe from Polytex had to insure the mandatory ‘social
distance’ necessitated by the COVID 19 emergency regulation.

Poultry Digest has made a number of visits to farms in the Riverina and Goulburn area that use Polytex’s ever expanding product range.

Fan covers and curtains made by Polytex are used extensively in ProTen’s large farms in the Riverina and also side coverings for the refurbishment of curtain sided housing.

These curtains, or thermal covers, are very innovative in that they are fabricated with air pockets inside two layers of flexible material, so
essentially it becomes a triple layered thermal barrier to the climatic conditions.

This makes the curtains not only easy to operate but almost as thermally efficient as a solid bondor panel construction.

Though flexible, the Polytex side walls can still obtain good shed sealing properties when required.

As the number of free-range farms grow, shade covers become essential for bird welfare for both free range layer and broiler flocks and Polytex has designed ideal shading solutions for free range sheds.

Polytex has shown that it can quickly design and manufacture robust and beneficial outcomes in answer
to many shed management challenges and the pond covers are no exception to the continued innovations for livestock farming.