PIX Workshops

Post-conference workshops will be held on Wednesday, 6 June 2018. Cost to attend the workshops is in addition to the conference registration fee.


The PIX committee is recognising Gary Sansom for his contribution to the poultry industry and more broadly to agriculture in Australia by naming our broiler workshop in his memory. Gary was a champion in many areas including environmental management systems, biosecurity, farm safety and research. For many people Gary will be remembered for generously giving his time and counsel but more importantly Gary was a mentor to many people in our industry.
Gary Sansom, AM

This year’s workshop will be focusing on the thermal neutral zone of the Broiler—or the “sweet spot” for the bird that optimises their welfare and performance—and how this basic requirement for life dictates how we manage every stage of broiler management. We will be exploring what signals the birds might give when there in that zone and if we could find any of these misleading when we are using controlled environment shedding where air speed is a major control tool.

We are pleased to confirm our international workshop presenters, Professor Malcolm Mitchell and Mr Bernard Green.

  • Professor Mitchell’s background is in human and animal physiology and he has sought to apply this discipline to understanding “stress” in animals particularly livestock in a commercial agricultural setting and how this relates to their welfare status. His focus has been upon environmental stress with specific emphasis upon thermal stress during animal transportation and in commercial production environments. He and his colleagues have developed a wide range of approaches and techniques for the characterisation of physiological stress responses in a number of species, including pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry.
  • Bernard is a qualified mechanical engineer who started his career in Rainbow Farms in 1995 as a project engineer in the largest poultry integrator in South Africa. He worked in this role initially before accepting a newly created position as a ventilation specialist and was responsible for upgrading facilities to optimize live performance across the company. For the next 13 years Bernard worked on a number of projects within Rainbow before departing to pursue a career as an independent ventilation specialist in the international poultry industry. He has worked for a number of customers and experienced the prevailing environmental conditions in Asia, Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East and Africa. During that time as a consultant, when he was exposed to the diversity in the industry, Bernard was also engaged in working for Aviagen and its customers and was closely tied to the company’s global hatchery development and support team and now works for Aviagen.

If you have been to our workshops in the past you will already know that these are a friendly environment where participant engagement is high. If 2018 is your first, you are in for a great day. To help focus the day on your own practical issues or questions around the thermal neutral zone, we are inviting suggestions, topics and scenarios to put to our speakers BEFORE the day. We will then pose as many of these as we can in case studies to Bernard and Malcolm as well as other experts on the day.

We are aware that sometimes you might not get the chance to cover something off in the workshop and are this year going to ask for your thoughts, ideas and questions prior to the workshop so look out for a questionnaire. If you are on our mailing lists, it will come to you soon.

If you have any thoughts in the meantime, or miss out on the questionnaire, please feel free to contact us at pixworkshops@pixamc.com.au.


Design and Managing Aviary Systems and Associated Range Area

Session 1 (9:00am-12:30pm)
The aviary system

  • The essential design principles of a rearing and laying aviary system – Alex Welbergen (Vencomatic)
  • Managing the aviary from chick placement to end of lay – Tim Smith (Specialised Breeders Australia)
  • How much bird movement occurs inside the aviary shed and its regularity? – Isabelle Ruhnke (University of New England)
  • Morning Tea (10:30am-11:00am)
  • Environmental enrichment during rearing influcences on layer behaviour – Dana Campbell (CSIRO)
  • Encouraging appropriate bird behaviour to achieve optimum performance from the aviary – Alex Welbergen (Vencomatic)
  • Panel discussion – questions from delegates

Session 2 (1:15pm-3:00pm)
The range area

  • Management of soil nutrient (N & P) distribution zones on range areas – Eugene McGahan & Stephen Wiedermann (Integrity Ag Services)
  • Bird movement on the range area – implications for design – Isabelle Ruhnke (University of New England)
  • Encouraging birds to use the range and more of the range area – Caroline de Koning (South Australian Research and Development Institute – SARDI)
  • Panel discussion – questions from delegates
  • Close (3:00pm)
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