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Title:
DEVICE FOR ANIMAL CUSTODY AND/OR BREEDING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/203466
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Device for animal custody and/or breeding, consisting of at least one casing, made up of any type of material(s) and in any way fitted and/or equipped, of a substantially cylindrical shape, disposed so that it can roll and/or rotate with its lateral surface resting on the ground, having at least one opening accessing the casing and a plurality of openings disposed on its lateral surface, characterized in that the openings arranged on said lateral surface consist of almost rectangular curved shape meshes/openings, having dimensions such as to guarantee the protection of the animals kept therein against all their predators, as well as a diameter of the respective base surfaces such as to allow a distribution of said meshes/openings, allowing the animals kept therein to operate from the inside of said casing/s both the browsing and the possible scratching about on the external resting surface of the casing, that the device is displaced by a suitable engine member, the locomotion of said device being governable by an electronic control system which allows to program the stops and movements on a given area and in at least one travel direction by means of the automatic actuation of the specific engine member.

Inventors:
CUTRUPI ANTONINO (IT)
FOTIA COSIMO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2017/053092
Publication Date:
November 30, 2017
Filing Date:
May 25, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CUTRUPI ANTONINO (IT)
FOTIA COSIMO (IT)
International Classes:
A01K1/02; A01K1/03; A01K1/10; A01K31/00
Foreign References:
DE102008050087A12010-04-08
FR709236A1931-08-04
DE10058821C12002-04-04
FR2087253A51971-12-31
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PERROTTA, Aldo (Soverato, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

Device for animal custody and/or breeding, consisting of at least one casing, made up of any type of material(s) and in any way fitted and/or equipped, of a substantially cylindrical shape, disposed so that it can roll and/or rotate with its lateral surface resting on the ground, having at least one opening accessing the casing and a plurality of openings disposed on its lateral surface, characterized in that the openings arranged on said lateral surface consist of almost rectangular curved shape meshes/openings, having dimensions such as to guarantee the protection of the animals kept therein against all their predators, as well as a diameter of the respective base surfaces such as to allow a distribution of said meshes/openings, allowing the animals kept therein to operate from the inside of said casing/s both the browsing and the possible scratching about on the external resting surface of the casing, that the device is displaced by a suitable engine member, the locomotion of said device being governable by an electronic control system which allows to program the stops and movements on a given area and in at least one travel direction by means of the automatic actuation of the specific engine member.

Device according to claim 1, characterized in that the casing is made up of at least two distinct substantially cylindrical casings coupled so that they can rotate or counter- rotate independently and that the rotation of said coupled casings can be actuated by independent torque transmissions.

Device according to Claim 2, characterized in that the disclosed casing is composed of at least three cylindrical coupled casings, so that at least two of them are able to rotate or counter-rotate independently. Device according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said device is provided with at least a break.

Device according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the casing is divided into two or more compartments wherein different species of animals can be kept and/or bred.

Device according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the same includes a towing element capable of engaging one or more devices with or without an engine member.

Device according to all the preceding claims, characterized in that the upright (25) supporting the accessories of the device is connected to at least one fixed element placed outside the casing by means of a specific frame to which at least one wheel, suitable to keep the upright (25) in position according to the course of the ground, is coupled.

Device according to all of the preceding claims, characterized in that the casing and/or each of the casing having meshes/openings as described above, is made up by means of a net or by the union of ring elements (18A), suitably arranged and held spaced apart to each other by the bars (18).

Device according to all of the preceding claims, characterized in that the casing and/or each of the casings making up the device is made of a series of circular elements parallel to each other, characterized in that the elements constituting each portion of the casing have different diameters.

Description:
DEVICE FOR ANIMAL CUSTODY AND/OR BREEDING

TECHNICAL FIELD

The breeding finalized for every purpose consists of the activity of guarding captive animals, raising and getting them appropriately reproducing. Within this macro area, a vast industrial sector has developed, characterized by countless products and accessories for various forms of industrial and amateur breeding and for domestic animals. In fact, as will be seen below, the developable applications described in the following, for the particular features and technical specifications, will find applications in the following types of breeding: birds, poultry, cattle, goats, sheeps, rabbits, horses, cattle/goat/sheep farming, breeding of porks, guinea pigs, ostriches, domestic animals, game. Also (as described), the same devices find application in agriculture as lawnmowers and fertilizer shredders. It is important to note that the above listing has been carried out by way of a non-limiting example, in fact, the new solutions developed by the present invention are particularly suitable for various animal species, both for birds scratching about and for herbivores and other species grazing on soils, but are equally suitable for different species of restocking and domestic animals and/or sheltered animals. In particular, grassy soil surfaces can be used to feed herbivorous animals, but they can also be used for sport, leisure and recreational purposes, for example, by domestic (not necessarily herbivorous) animals such as, birds of all types, dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes etc.

The following terms, "pasture" and/or "arbored pasture ", are used to qualify the census purpose(s) of specific soils, which are generally prevented from producing more productive crops. In particular, pastures can be intermittent or permanent depending on the existence of limiting soil/climate factors, furthermore for this type of agrarian purposes, other factors are relevant (excessive slope of the soil, limited depth, excessive presence of stones and/or outgoing rocks, low temperatures, low amount of light). In addition, according to the climatic conditions, (taking the country Italy as a reference), pasture is productive according to the height of its location : - on the Alps during summer for two to four months; b) on the Apennines over the period from spring to autumn for five to six months; c) in the South and on the Italian islands over the period from spring to autumn for five to six months.

Pasturing techniques consider the sustainable livestock load and the viable shifting depending on the permanence of herbivores on pasture. In more productive soils, including those with different crop purposes, it is very rare to find free forms of animal farming, since crop types are often incompatible with animal pasturing and/or there are no viable solutions that are compatible with respect to the cultivation needs.

The pasturing activity, which is increasingly difficult to practice, has been originally included in the texts of the Italian Penal Code, which included the crime offense "abusive pasture", recently decriminalized, the legal guidance object of the protection being changed and moved to the protection of private property towards the respect for animals. Indeed, in the last few years, a number of new legislative measures have been introduced to protect the life of animals, and in particular the cases of "maltreatment and abandonment of animals" were introduced. Even in the business sphere, lawmakers have implemented measures regulating the procedures to breed captive animals. For example, in the field of poultry breeding, from 2013, metal cages, better known as "batteries" (spread in Italy in the 1960s), have been banned, which highlight the very strong change in the poultry sector and in zootechnics in general. The recent legislative guidelines (driven mainly by health needs) have the purpose of spreading and enhancing livestock which respect animal needs (e.g. for laying hens, the fact that they can carry the sand bath and scratch about), therefore imposing new standards which are more respectful of the needs of captive animals. In this transition phase, the industrial sector that produces cages for captive animal breeding is facing a moment of deep crisis, as their main products are out of the scope of this legislation being far from the principles of animal welfare.

STATE OF THE ART

The industrialized devices suitable to favour the pasture control for herbivore breeding within specific spaces are made up of products classified as "mature" in the innovation scale, and in particular they are: - fences/containments, (including those made with new materials); - nets and delimitation systems (including those with new forms and innovative materials); - electric bollards aimed at removing predators; - electronic control systems for animals. The aforementioned devices offer solutions for the use of soil areas to be used for grazing, so that they can be made accessible to herbivores and farm animals (including those bred for industrial purposes), domestic animals, etc., with all the drawback which are better described below.

Finally, in the field of technology, different types of cages intended for custody and breeding, having a structure that can be moved on the soils, are known. These are bottomless cages, which are little reliable in order to counter the attacks of predators, and cylindrical cages for rabbits, made mobile by rolling by the animals themselves, which present a number of problems related to the certainty of their mobility on different types of terrain, thus preventing the actual diffusion and development.

FR2087253A describes a cage for breeding rabbits characterized in that it comprises a shape of revolution whose lateral surface is perforated, this shape is placed on the ground where the food is, the inertia of the cage is sufficiently low so as to allow its rotation with a rabbit and, in particular, when it has collected the food near the generatrix of the form in contact with the soil. This device has a number of drawbacks:

a) The device moved only by the weight of the guarded animals moves only under the action of the weight of the contained animals, which must have a weight greater than that of the cage. This implies that the cage is light and therefore weak;

b) The device is not suitable for moving on sloping ground, actually on very steep ground it tends to roll without stopping;

c) The animals browse all the available forage at the place where the device stops and it is not possible to orogram the picking of forage, so as to facilitate the later regrowth.

Therefore, there are no competitive products able to find a solution to the technical problem described below. TECHNICAL PROBLEM

For the several species of animals bred in captivity, there are just as many predators (foxes, wolves, eagles, etc.) able to intervene badly, even entering into the shelters. In this scenario, the forms of breeding of captive animals, developed in the industrialized countries over the last 50 years, have helped to stimulate the adoption of techniques in the respective areas, mainly based on the intensive housing of herbivores, sheeps, poultry etc. Such forms of breeding have also developed due to the need to protect agricultural crops from human-bred animals. To this main drawback, those related to the predatory attacks and/or to the interactions of some species raised with the wild fauna are added. In this context, in the different forms of livestock, which can be classified as more or less intensive, models designed to reduce animal growth rates in order to make more economic profits in the various livestock sectors have developed. These "models" of breeding have caused several problems ranging from the known genetic mutations of the animals with the onset of dangerous pathologies, to the more recent drawbacks in the food chain products. Today, in the industrialized countries, and especially in Europe, the livestock industry is in constant innovative flux. Indeed, if during the decades the job of shepherd using dogs guarding the free livestock is becoming rarer and rarer, on the other hand, it has become unpopular to acknowledge how certain species of animals are bred by the industries of the sector, so that whole fields of zootechnics are changing, implementing forms of breeding able to improve the level of freedom of the captive animals, as well as the quality of the provided food. The use of fences in livestock shelters as a means of defending from predators and the need to ensure grazing surfaces creates significant management problems, as there are still no solutions available in the industry able to provide movement flexibility and contextual protection of the animals. Pasture suitable for animal breeding are hardly accessible for transhumances and temporary dislocation on marginal soils, often at high altitudes. In cultivated soils, at lower altitudes, the herbicides usable in zootechnics are not used and are often dried by means of specific technical means (mulchers, tractors, herbicides), the use of such herbs as food for captive animals, despite the availability in the different periods of the calendar year. In the same way, being expensive (collection, transport, etc.), the use of manure produced by captive animals to fertilize neighbouring soils has become rarer and rarer. The massive use of industrial feed for animal breeding and the use of weeding techniques in farming practices, almost brought to break almost completely the natural correlation between breeding and cultivation, making the periodic collection of manure from shelters and its transport on the cultivated terrains equally problematic.

Still, there are no suitable "fences" that would allow grazing in portions of cultivated terrains. Many devices have not been developed due to the incompatibility of their management with the requirements of agricultural activities and practices. In particular, "fences" show economic difficulties in terms of manufacture and lack of flexibility to carry out rotations both in cultivated terrains and in pastures, and do not adequately guarantee the functions of protection from predators. In the substance of the problem, it should be noted that: - the electro-welded nets recommended to delimit the outer perimeter of the pasture, have high costs; - the electrified wires are little reliable, as they are not always effective due to the problems associated with the uncontrolled electric discharge of wet vegetation, - the movable cages, such as the bottomless ones for poultry (have not been industrialized) since hardly integrate in intensive and industrialized cultivations. Mobile cages for rabbits, known in the state of art (those of cylindrical type), whose operation is only operated by the animals guarded inside it, are in fact unable to move either on sloping terrain or in flat cultivated soils, due to the roughness of the soils (cultivation surfaces, soil masses produced by moles, etc.) and due to varied vegetation on agricultural surfaces. These problems make the aforementioned mobile devices little reliable and difficult to manage.

The non-capability of automatic displacement of devices and the fences for the pasture, such as bottomless cages and/or rotary cages, which have no devices capable of moving them independently in times and modes programmable by humans, made their use and development unsuccessful.

Another issue that is addressed is the animal welfare, for example, rabbits cannot be fed only by feedstuffs because in the absence of herbs their teeth would grow excessively, causing the impossibility for a healthy nutrition, or for poultry and birds (including the domestic ones) the use of solutions aimed at filing the claws highlights the impossibility for animals to be able to scratch about and consequently to use their claws naturally. In addition to all the problems described above, the technical problem that we intend to solve with the solution of the present invention is to equip the new devices (described below) with a series of arrangements adapted to provide suitable shelter for pasture of animals, featuring appropriate devices for the control of parking/stop, restart, direction, driving direction, making them functional for different types of animals and in different contexts and applications: a) Mobility on lands characterized by very high slopes;

b) Mobility both on plain and sloping lands;

c) Mobility according to the preceding points characterized by the presence of inter rows and/or obstacles (e.g., tree, fence, fixed works, etc.).

d) Efficiency of the casings for protection against predators and their suitability for to scratching about and/or browsing.

It should be noted that the term "mobility", indicated in the description, refers to the ability of the new device (better described below) to move in one or more directions, to stop on a plane land and/or in situations of declivity /slopes even after stopping the device when it was moving, to restart after any stop condition, to rotate both from standstill or during movement, to reverse its driving direction.

1) The present invention is based on an overall view of the above-mentioned technical problems and introduces a "radical" innovation, capable of revolutionizing products and sectors, that have been considered mature for decades, affecting many industrial sectors (zootechnics, agricultural machinery such as "lawn mowers", "fertilizer shredders", "mechanical hoes"). In fact, one of the most important novelties brought about by the described solution is the wide flexibility of application of new forms of pasture breeding, which, moreover, perfectly integrates into as many agricultural practices, implementing natural and biological functions both in animal products and in the agri-food ones. In fact, in addition to the pasture-related drawbacks, the application described below would solve also the problems related to the natural control of the weeds and of the presence of harmful insects in the cultivated soils, maintaining a strong economic competitiveness in the pursuit of their respective activities, which in many cases would become symbiotic, "transformation of the herbs into zootechnical products/restitution of the excrement and simultaneous fertilization and processing of the soil, such as scratching about", all with the addition of a special casing, suitable for scratching about and grazing of various animal species. No mesh openings in mobile devices that could allow, besides the passage of herbs, the scratching about made inside the casing on the ground by the guarded animals have been conceived yet. In fact, there are various solutions suitable for the preparation of super-fitted cages, aimed at filing the claws of animal such as poultry. The solution described in the present invention, in addition to addressing animal protection issues, solves both herb browsing and the scratching about operable by animals from the inside of the casing of the present invention. In addition, the problems related to the movement of new devices will be solved, both within pasture areas and within cultivations of various types, by means of solutions able to program and adjust the behaviour of the device within a given area for the scratching about and/or grazing even in the presence of obstacles. Furthermore, said devices may also be interactive with the end user as well as transmit control data relating to animal welfare.

DESCRIPTION

The device object of the present description, as it is done, will be able to automate grazing shifts within predetermined soil surfaces while keeping animals guarded/protected in special containers and/or cages that can progressively move on the external grassy surfaces also if interposed between rows, safeguarding plants and/or crops, in compliance with programmable cycles from time to time both at will and/or according to even urgent needs. The different solutions that can be developed by the present invention can be used for almost plain lands and/or sloping/hilly lands and/or very steep lands, and differ in terms of product ranges depending on size and type of livestock for which they are intended. In this diversification of products related to the new device, there is a similar one in terms of agricultural utility, by way of example: a) a rabbit device can fulfil the functions of a "lawn mower" and "fertilizer shredder" agricultural machine; b) a device for porks may perform the functions of a "lawn mower", "fertilizer shredder" and "mechanical hoe" agricultural machine.

The solution of the present invention is applicable to both flat and sloping lands, irrespective of the farming destination (grazing, vineyard, arboretum, vegetable garden, etc.).

The new device for the custody and breeding of animals is characterized by having an almost cylindrical casing, suitable both for scratching about and browsing, characterized by a high degree of protection against predators, able to graze on soils also being sloping, to be equipped with at least an engine and a brake, as well as a suitable electronic control and programming system for the locomotion, as further described below.

Therefore, in the terrains used for pasture and/or cultivation, the use of the device of the present invention allows both livestock shelters (sheepfold, henhouse, rabbit hutch, etc.) and an automated and accurate management of agricultural activities, characterized by a number of competitive advantages: "control of herbs including weeds through the same bred animals"; "direct field fertilization with solid and liquid manure produced by defecation during grazing, which is automatically distributed by the progressive displacement of the device"; "guarding of the bred animals that can be carried out remotely; reduction of soil consumption for the manufacture of henhouses, pigsties, sheepfolds, rabbits hutches, etc. as the new devices are also suitable as mobile shelters"; "improvement of animal welfare" compared to the known conditions wherein livestock farmings are carried out in different sectors of zootechnics. The animals bred in the new device will be able to feed fully, either with any feed and grazing, while being protected by their predators, with a number of competitive advantages on the animal welfare. For example, all the farm yard animals will be able to scratch about directly on the soil thanks to the particular meshes of each type of casing, as better described below. For the description of the operation, examples of selected devices will be given only in a descriptive and non- limitative manner in order to highlight the main inventive features of the present invention, without such examples being able to limit in any way the development of all possible other industrial products (described in the description below).

The new device consists of at least a casing (2) of a substantially cylindrical shape, as shown in Figs. 1, 2, 3, 5. In particular, in the lateral and frontal view of the example of Figs. 1 and 2 respectively, the substantially cylindrical casing (2) consists of an electrowelded net having rectangular meshes (14), the longest side of said meshes being parallel with respect to the driving direction "5". The described form of the mesh (14) allows and promotes both the scratching about and the browsing of grass, while guaranteeing the guarded animals the safety from their predators even of a very small size such as a marten/weasel, reptiles, etc. In fact, the circular shape of the "substantially cylindrical" casing (2) and the peculiarities of the "rectangular" meshes allow the farm yard animals to scratch about on the soil surfaces external to the casing and precisely the surface bands delimited by the points "27" of Fig. 1, which, from time to time, will be implemented with the programmable movements of the device. In fact, if the head of a small predator such as the marten is about 2 inches, the described rectangular mesh will have the smaller side of about 1.7 cm preventing said predator from passing, but not preventing the claws as well as their movement from passing across the whole longer side constituting said rectangular mesh, for example 15 cm, which easily allow a bird to scratch about. The same solution of casing shape and rectangular mesh, of Fig. 1, makes it possible to facilitate the browsing of grass possibly present on the ground, being the casing (2) resting on the point (3), leaving in this way the grass on the bands "27" (underneath and lateral to the cylindrical casing) free and thus "browsable". Unlike the example just described, the device shown in Figs. 3 and 4 has the casing (2) made up of meshes better highlighted in detail (14) shown in Fig. 4, formed not by a net ; but by circular rings (18A) held together by special shafts (18) shown in Fig.4. Said type of device is suitable for sheltering and pasturing certain animals such as sheep, porks and/or the like, as the particular meshes formed by the described rings have much larger surfaces than the previous example, being forced to guarantee protection from bigger predators than the "marten" and in particular from "stray dogs, wolves, etc.". For this reason, the maximum distance between two successive rings (18A) of Fig. 4 forming this particular type of mesh is about 10 cm allowing the animals to be bred and/or guarded to let their legs out from the casing (2) as in drawing of Fig.3, where, for example, the depicted grazing sheep is let its posterior paws (15) out. Generally these types of herbivores are attacked by their predators from the back (outside their visual field). In this respect, in the example of Figs. 3 and 4, a grid (16) (consisting of meshes similar to those constituting the casing (2) of Figs. 3 and 4) was provided, and hung to the frame (10) through the hinge elements "17" in order to protect the guarded animals appendages coming out from the casing (2) shown in Fig. 3. In fact, these animals, in relation to the rolling direction "4" and depending on the travel direction "5", assume the position shown in Figs. 3 and 4 during grazing. As can be seen from Fig.3, "side view", the elements (bars) "16A" are placed between the casing (2) and the grid (16), respectively on the two sides of the device, in order to avoid a possibility of attack by predators who might come in to attack the paws (15) of the guarded animals. Both devices, described and illustrated in the examples, are characterized in that they are composed of the following elements: at least one casing (2) capable of rotating around at least one rotation axis (6), wherein at least one shaft (25), having no rotation and / or rolling effect along with the casing (2), due to the hubs(24) (see detail of Fig. 5) and a gravity load on the shaft (25) or (as in the example) for the connection to a frame (10) located outside the casing. The frame (10) connected to the shaft (25) is mounted on the ground by means of the wheel (9), guaranteeing the stability of said shaft during movement of the device due to the rolling of the casing (2) (as shown in Fig. 5 and 7). The device of Fig. 2 having the electrowelded mesh (14), in addition to being usable, for example, for rabbits, hares etc., it can be used (for example) for laying hens. In fact, near the rotation axis (6) of the casing (2), as in the front view of Fig. 2, the shaft (25) coinciding with the rotation axis (6) and connected to the frame (10) has on a side the tube (11) of Fig. 2, having a diameter and a slope so as to allow the eggs to cross and to come out from the nests (for example, for the laying hens), these latter being placed internally to the casing (2). The eggs, through the external duct (19) of Fig. 1, will reach the egg container (20). On the other side (12) of the shaft (25), there is a water container for the guarded animals placed in correspondence of the rotation axis (6), wherein there is a vent and a water supplying hose as well as a cap suitable for its cleaning. The disclosed water tank, located inside of part of the shaft (25), was placed in central position with respect to the casing (2) to be well protected against freezing and sunlight through the roof (8) and the doors (7). The same shaft (25) will function as a support for all the accessories on the casing suitable to meet the various needs of the animal species kept therein. This tank of the example includes, in whole or in part, the entire shaft (25) located near the rotation axis (6) and has the attachments for its cleaning and refilling outside the position (12) of Fig. 2. The disclosed tank inside the casing (2) is equipped with specific water dispensers arranged along its internal profile, such dispensers can be adapted to the different types of animals.

The shaft (25) having no effect of rotation and / or rolling together with the casing (2) is characterized by the fact that it will have at least one of its access point within the casing (2) coinciding with the axis of rotation (6), where at least one hub (24) of Fig. 5 and 7 is present. Said shaft, outside the access point, can be modelled according to the requirements of the set up of the different devices. For example, in the figure of Fig. 4, said dome-shaped shaft (25), suitable to allow the comfortable shelter for animals, crosses the plane (21) of Figs. 3 and 4, the access of which, in the example, is executed by means of the step (22). These last elements can be hung or connected to the shaft (25), provided with a cover (8) and placed inside the casing (2) of Figs. 3 and 4. The water tank (12) with specific distribution system (26), in the example of Figs. 3 and 4, is located inside the device. On both of the disclosed examples, as can be seen from the side view of Figs. 1 and 3, at least one access door will be made, such as on the surface (36), the sliding door (34) on the elements (35) depicted in Fig. 7.

In the shaft (25) entering the casing near the rotation axis (6), it is possible to place different types of accessories inside and outside the casing. In particular, it is possible to fasten/attach to said shaft one or more accessories, holding them in position with the wheel, or it will be possible to hang some accessories holding them in position due to their gravity.

As it is easy to realize, when the casing (2) is rolling on the ground (1), the other elements will remain virtually stable (without rotating on themselves), thus allowing the correct operation of, for example, the trough, the feeders, the nests for eggs, the perches, the shelter plans (21), of the roofs (8), of the dens and whatever is useful and necessary to set up.

The outer casing (2) of Fig. 3 of the devices of the present invention has meshes consisting of rectangular- shaped ring elements (18A) shown in detail (14) of Fig. 4, which, as described above, are designed to make the grazing possible for herbivores and/or to make the digging possible for porks. For these animals to have easier access to the soil, herbs, roots, at the manufacturing step of the casing (2), specific ring-shaped meshes have been provided, having different diameters, so that their alternating combination forms, close to the contact with the ground (1), the particular shape shown in Fig. 8. Through a prospect and a detail section, it is easy to see that the disclosed casing rests on the ground only with the rings with the largest diameter, avoiding to compress the grass with all the rings, thus favouring the grazing. In addition, the alternating ring (18A) favours the introduction of the mouth of the guarded animals as depicted in Fig. 8 by the rods (38) simulating the nose positions of the animals with respect to the rings forming the casing. It will be noted that the insertion space of the nose is doubled by the spacing formed by two rings (about 20 cm) and that it will also be possible to graze under each ring that remains elevated on the ground due to the different diameters of the casing composition. The device of the present invention, better described below, allows the following functions:

a) Continuous protection of animals against their predators;

b) Protection of external crops against the animals kept in the shell;

c) Distributor / fertilizer shredder along the surfaces covered by the device;

d) Rolling(s) even in several directions necessary to move / stop / rotate / modify, completely or partly, the direction of the new device;

e) Keeping the breeding animals to be kept in a certain field to let them graze in predetermined spaces by means of programmable paths;

f) Making it possible for the guarded animals to scratch about and / or browse from the inside of the casing (2)

g) Making it possible for the animals to dig (well beyond the scratching about) about 10 to 25 cm below the surface of the soil so that they can also eat roots (e.g. porks, etc.).

Both devices depicted in Fig. 1 and Fig. 7 have anchors (13) connected to the frame (10) and/or shaft (25), which can be anchored/hooked, for example, to the rope of an electric battery winch capable of towing loads of more than 5000 kg, governed by a programming system such as a timer relay suitable programmable, on the basis of pulses, seconds and minutes, allowing planned displacement in a predetermined direction even for distances of hundreds of linear meters, respecting the speeds that are compatible with the needs of the animals therein.

It should be pointed out that with the winch tow system, the devices can be held either on almost flat surfaces (so that once finished the towing action, the device remains almost stationary or motionless on the ground) or on slopes even very accentuated (so that once finished every towing action, the device stays on the slope). Then, a device like that shown in Figs. 3 and 4, could have many applications, for example, also useful for creating firefighting bands often needed on very high slopes such as olive groves or forests, also benefiting from the costs that would be needed to obtain the same traditional firefighting paths in the state of art.

Examples of other devices with an engine

In addition to the application example of the above-described winch together with the electronic system for its control, the device of the invention may also be constituted by at least two casings having at least one engine member provided with a special brake (for example, reduction gears connected to an electric engine), which allows the device to rotate independently the two casings as if they were two tracks, and consequently allow it to move in several directions and/or stop independently both on almost flat ground surface and uphill and/or downhill, operating all the stops and restarts in a programmed way via a specific electronic control device. The purpose of this particular feature would solve the problems related not only to the interposition of different types of slopes but also to the mobility of the device in several directions, that is aimed at make it functional in grounds with obstacles and/or inter rows made up of plantations. Fig. 6 shows the casing constituting a new device, consisting of at least two symmetrical cylinders, for example (2A) and (2B), divided by a ring rotating system (33) holding them joined together. This element (33) having the shape of a circular crown is designed so that the two casings can rotate or counter-rotate independently of each other. The rotation of the two coupled casings can be operated by two independent torque transmissions (for example, consisting of two identical engines), enabling the device to mechanically traverse any trajectory. Independent torque transmissions, each acting on the respective two casings, are equipped with a mechanical coupling system, for example by means of an appropriate revolution reduction, aimed at constituting a motor brake, capable of stopping the device even on a slope, regardless of its direction of travel. The torque transmission, for example, may be powered by one or more electric engines, the power of which can be provided by means of suitable rechargeable batteries, possibly placed in a housing of the mobile device, specifically structured and anchored to the frame (10).

Fig. 5 shows an example of an electric engine (28), coupled to a reduction gear (29), which transmits the driving force to the pinion (30). Said pinion is connected to the rotating device through a drive member (31) which triggers the circular crown (32). The solution of the example shows how it is possible to rotate and/or stop and/or make restart a casing/device even on a slope due to both the reduction gear (29) and the crown (32), which mechanical members provide slow movements and twisting torques suitable for coupling electric engines (28) with low energy consumption.

Depending on the destination of the products and depending on the chosen driving system, the engine and/or engines intended for driving the device may be powered by interchangeable rechargeable batteries or by rechargeable batteries connected to a photovoltaic system consisting of at least one panel and one charge regulator. Thus, the devices of the present invention may be constituted by a single motorized casing (thus being unidirectional) and / or constituted by two or more motorized casings capable of operating in different directions, as better described below.

The casing made up of symmetrical cylinders, for example (2A) and (2B) of Fig. 6, from the functional point of view of destination of use, could be used either in a single volume (e.g. (2A) + (2B) shell) or in two or more volumes (e.g. A rabbit hutch inside volume (2A) and a henhouse inside volume (2B) etc.). Regardless of the example of Fig.6 ; the casing constituting the device may also consist of three cylindrical elements, in which, for example, a further central, non-motorized casing is interposed between elements (2A) and "2B", coupled to the external elements (2A) and (2B) by means of at least two circular crowns (33) and to be driven in rolling by the actuation of motorized casings. For this combination, the outer casings are mechanically coupled to the respective engine members, while the central casing element is free and independent but coupled to the outer casings by the circular crowns (33). It must be pointed out that the reduced number of rotations, the presence of the meshes forming the net and/or the rings allow adherence of the rotating casings to the agricultural terrain, even if it is steep. Finally, it is to be said that the hooks (13) provided on the casings allow the towing of the same on the plane and on slopes (as in the previously described example of use as a winch accessory). Moreover, the devices of the present invention may be equipped with a special tow hook, e.g. placed on the frame (10), so that an additional device can be hooked up and towed for all planned movements. Alternatively, the device with a tow hook may tow a particular cage or mobile fence to plan the pasture of animals on its own path, or may engage a rotary casing without brake and engine, held at a constant distance by means of a rigid anchoring element such as a rod. With the solution of the tow hook on the device, the pasture of herbivores (e.g. sheep contained in a device of Fig. 3 and 4), by an anchored rotating device, even without an engine, containing insectivores such as "guinea fowl", so that grazing and animal breeding allows to obtain a completely organic agricultural processing.

The locomotion of the devices in question can be governed by an automated electronic control system (e.g. a timer), wherein, according to the requirements described above, it is possible, for example, to plan a straight path from the user, to move the device by a predetermined number of meters per day (via programmed movements and stops) on a well-defined area of land where it is possible to predict how many days the device can proceed unidirectionally without human intervention, which will be successively necessary to move it or to change its direction. On the other hand, for double-casing devices, an automated electronic control system will be provided, consisting of a hardware component, including, for example, a controller, an actuator, sensors, a radio reception and transmission system for data communication, and a software part dedicated to data processing, storage/saving and/or collection. For example, the electronic control system can receive by inputs user configurations, collect data from sensors, process information to command and control the mechanical members of the device in question by the actuator(s). For example, users can create ad-hoc paths for that device by creating a customized guided path, where the user interacts, for example, via an "App" with the automated electronic control system by initiating a well-defined algorithm that can also use data acquired through sensors and/or, for example, GPS. Each created path can be conveniently stored in a memory unit of the automated electronic control system so that it can be modified to suit or act as a template for creating future paths through user interaction via "App".

For example, the software application will have to be able to receive and execute the user-defined path schedule to be executed. When a new configuration is received, the software application must eventually remove the old configuration, update the new schedule, and start the new path schedule. For each configuration path, the software application will process the contained information in a well-defined algorithm by electronically commanding the above-described locomotion system through the actuator. During the movement of the device, for example, the application may return information regarding the location (for example, through real-time data acquisition with GPS sensor, proximity sensors, etc.) and speed in order to process the same, to track the movement of the device in real time, record and store the movements in the memory (for example, perform the "Tracking" function to be viewed remotely via "App" by the user). For example, in order to prevent unauthorized and/or fraudulent use of the device (e.g. theft, unauthorized user, etc.), the software application will have to block and/or report the device to make it unusable and send a telematic notification of successful operation to the owner-user. The device, following new unlock commands, will have to be able to reset the status and resume operation.

There are multiple functions that can be operated through specific sensors by the previously indicated data transmission system, and in particular the following functions can be applied to the new device: transmission of data on the amount of water available in each tank; on internal and external temperatures of the device; on the presence of any starting fires, on animal images, on the amount of food available in the feeders, on the temperature of said food, on the control of the pasture area (e.g. by data transmission from video takes), on produced and available eggs.

In addition, it will be possible to automatically schedule (possibly even remotely) the opening and/or closing and/or the adjustment of doors, for instance the shading door (7) of Figs. 1, 2 and 5, by means of the use of the described data radio communication system, on board the device, capable of coding the commands and executing them with known actuators for fixtures, such adjustments may be provided remotely or may be automatically scheduled with the combination of data on tem peratures. Likewise, it is possible to change the path(s), the directions or the trends in terms of speed and/or intervals for stopping and restarting the device. These functions can be synthesized in data acquisition for 1) monitoring (water reading, room - casing - and food temperatures, safety, egg production, movement tracking, animal conditions), 2) device handling commands (paths, obstacle bypassing, stops), 3) speed control commands, 4) adjustment of shading and protection against atmospheric agents. By way of example, it is shown that for the function relating to the shading door of the device, it is considered that the hinged door (7) of the attached drawings, connected to a special arm actuator controlled by a special electronic system equipped with a temperature sensor together with a dedicated data reception and transmission system, the function present in the device control unit, periodically reads the data transmitted/collected by the sensor about the temperature and when the detected data exceeds a set chreshold, the function operates the actuator which will ensure through the arm that the door, if closed, is opened, if open remains the same, and to conclude, when temperature data drops, even suddenly, the function through the control unit, actuates the actuator to proceed reversely.

Also by way of example, the method for collecting data on produced eggs in a device for laying hens in Fig. 1 is described: the nests are considered to be connected to a ducted slide (19), in turn connected to the egg container (20), an infrared proximity sensor appropriately installed between the slide duct (19) and the egg container (20), a data reception and transmission system, a control unit. The method, uploaded to the control unit, reads the data detected by the proximity sensor whenever a produced egg crosses, for effect of the slide, the duct (19), stores the data, updates a counter and transmits the information remotely. The products described below, best described by types and categories, can be associated to services provided to end users with the development of a specific "Apps" wherein the best procedures for the growth of certain animal species are dictated. These services provided through the "Apps" are used to avoid mistakes in the handling of animals by end users, who will be able to interact by entering their data according to the types of bred animals from time to time. For example, referring to rabbits, the "App" will prompt the user to specify how many rabbits are entered, the date, their weight, their distinctive signs, the feed provided, both in terms of feed and in terms of grazing, including the whole fattening period. These data can be easily processed by each "App" that will provide the end user with information on the times and quantities of fodder/herbs/feed used for fattening, as well as any other useful indication for a viable and profitable growth breeding. The set of data can be transmitted and stored also on a dedicated platform on which the services provided with each product line can be completed.

Products and accessories of the present invention which sought to identify the scope of the development sectors can be numerous.

The agricultural/zootechnical industrial products that can be made with the present invention can be divided, for example, in relation to the pasture size and/or the intended use of the same:

1) Large Equipment for pasture breeding totally safe from predators (extended pastures);

2) Medium Devices, which can be modified according to the size of the rows, for pasture in lawn strip breeding totally safe

3) breeding totally from predators, also placed in intermediate any rows for various crops;

4) Small or Mini Equipment for pasture in meadows or courtyards safe from predators.

Alternatively, they may be diversified, according to the kind of animals to be bred and/or guarded during grazing, in devices for birds, poultry, bovines, caprids, sheeps, rabbits, horses, bovine/caprine/sheep/etc. pastoralism, porks, guinea pigs, ostriches, aviaries.

Finally, depending on the different product engines, the following categories can be developed :

cages for livestock with unidirectional pasture;

cages for livestock with multidirectional pasture;

cages for livestock with drag accessory for strong slopes (winch with actuation timer). The listed products may be equipped with all or part of a wide range of electronic accessories and equipment such as: data/weather stations, connectivity, "loT" (Internet of Things) devices, smartcard connection devices, camcorders, sensors, processors, energy recovery and/or conversion and storage systems, storage units, any deterrent systems for predators, zootechnical equipment of different types referring to the various product types, water tanks with appropriate distributors, external containers of interchangeable type suitable for housing, preserving and collecting eggs, feeders with hoppers, covering roofs and properly equipped with waterproofing and insulating systems with possible rainwater recovery, filtering and/or collection/storage, tow hooks, towbar hooks, beds, litters, dens, shelves for animal rest, accessory funnels to fill hoppers with feed, for example by special ducts and/or holes reclosable from the roof, and any other useful feature.

Finally, in order to industrialize the products, it is convenient to divide the casings (2) of Figs. 1, 2 and 5 in different bands of electrowelded nets having (the typical meshes described earlier) supported by shafts which may be screwed on the respective circumferences of circular bases (36) of Fig. 7 form ing the almost cylindrical device, so as to have modular and easy to package products; likewise, the casing (2) of Figs. 3 and 4, made up of rings (18A), can be made by means of several semicircles appropriately screwed so that they can be packed separately.

With the described constructional solution, the volume of each package of the casings (2) will be greatly reduced, with enormous advantages both for industrial production and transport.

The combination of the characterizing and distinctive elements of the present invention, however, combined with solutions in terms of materials, colours, exterior forms, dimensions as well as one or more accessories, will not result in any different industrial property right different from the ones listed in the description and in the claims promoted by the present invention.