Innovation and research

The most modern decentralized grasshopper farm in the world

SmartBreed develops fully automated insect breeding solutions and enables farms to breed their own insects directly on their farm with minimal effort: all you need to do is add feed and water - the breeding box does the rest of the work. Using sensors, it automatically monitors and controls the microclimate in which the insects grow quickly and are available as feed for chickens after a short time. The breeding boxes were developed specifically for native locusts. In a few months, SmartBreed will also be offering a breeding solution in which mealworms can be grown inexpensively with little effort.


Delicious and nutritious eggs from healthy chickens

Grasshoppers are ideal for feeding laying hens. They are an optimal source of protein and their valuable ingredients have a positive effect on the taste of the eggs. But that's not all: As they grow up, the locusts utilize agricultural by-products that would otherwise have been disposed of in waste or in biogas plants. This means there is no need to buy expensive soy from abroad.
Due to the species-appropriate and nature-related feeding of grasshoppers, the chickens not only lay delicious and nutritious eggs, they also live more healthily: the hunt for the insects creates a distraction and reduces aggressive behavior towards their fellow species. Feather and toe pecking are reduced, the immune system is strengthened and the laying performance is improved.

Research for increased animal welfare in chickens

The great innovation content of the breeding solution from SmartBreed has also convinced the Swiss Agency for Innovation Promotion "Innosuisse", which is co-financing a research project which started in autumn 2021. 
A consortium with partners from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the Switzerland Innovation Park Biel / Bienne AG is investigating how the breeding boxes can be further optimized and equipped with self-learning camera technology to monitor the growth process of the locusts. It also analyzes which agricultural by-products are best suited as grasshopper feed, how the animal welfare of the chickens can be optimally increased and how the breeding boxes can be optimally integrated into the farms.


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