Having travelled internationally quite extensively and frequently in search of the latest good ideas and products for the improvement of commercial poultry production in South Africa, Duncan often returned home in search of a poultry producer adventurous enough to be the first to implement a new idea not yet proven in South Africa. In 1996, Duncan found his man: Tom Erasmus, a well-known and respected broiler contract grower for Rainbow in Worcester in the Western Cape.
For this revolutionary idea, Duncan partnered with Skov, the Danish specialist in climate control and production monitoring across all sectors of animal production, an enterprise that was coincidently also started in 1966, although the company itself was founded by the brothers Skov in 1954 already.
Although the concept sounds simple now, it was more than a little unconventional in the South African poultry industry at the time, to build a fully environmentally controlled poultry house from insulated panelling, in a landscape where open-sided brick and steel houses were deemed the best and only way to go.
However, in the wake of the success of this project (and the type of housing being knows as “TomCan Houses”) and the phenomenal results of Tom’s subsequent broiler production cycles, many other commercial producers were quick to follow suit, and today environmentally controlled panel housing with a ventilation system similar to the one originally designed by PPA and Skov, is the industry standard for commercial producers.