Chicken Lenses For Chicken Farmers Odi Case Study Essay

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Optical Distortion The purpose of ODI was to develop a product that could partially blind chickens, which would lead to their consuming less and saving farmers money over the duration of the chickens' life. The product that ODI developed was a contact lens for chickens. This lens was to be an improvement upon the situation for chickens, which previously were debeaked by farmers to prevent the pecking order from getting out of hand and the chickens progressing to cannibalism. Debeaking was a process by which chickens literally had their beaks cut off at different angles, weakening their ability to peck one another. The issue with debeaking, however, was two-fold: first, it produced serious trauma on the chicken, and resulted in hens not laying eggs for at least a week; second, it caused the farmer to have to fill the feed trough 3/8's of an inch higher because the chickens' beaks were now smaller.

Thus, while debeaking helped reduce the rate at which chickens killed one another, it did not actually solve the problem of pecking. The ODI lens was a new product that looked to address directly the issue of hen-pecking. By putting lenses in the eyes of the chickens that impaired their vision and reduced their range of sight to just 12 inches, the farmer could control how well the chicken could see. Because part of the aggressive, pecking nature of dominant...

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Plus, it could not recognize the combs of chickens (a way to establish pecking order) and so there was no more pecking -- with lenses in their eyes, the pecking order was neutralized (Clarke, 2009, p. 5).
This was really an ingenious method that was discovered by accident when in the 1970s a chicken farmer realized that the chickens with cataracts on his farm were less aggressive and consumed less. This got a few entrepreneurs thinking about how they could replicate this stigma in the chickens. Blurred lenses became the solution (Clarke, 2009, p. 1).

However, now the company ran into a new problem: how to fund the business and penetrate the market at the same time. As Clarke (2009) acknowledges, "Chicken farmers are an independent-minded breed of men" (p. 7) and would not pay high prices for a new product that they had not personally tested. Thus, a box of lenses was priced at $20. While this would produce a low profit margin for ODI, it was felt that this was the best way to penetrate and saturate the market -- if the box was priced any higher, farmers might be less willing to give it a try. On the…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Clarke, D. (2009). Optical Distortion, Inc. (A). Harvard Business School.

HenSaver. (2015). Chicken Saddles. Retrieved from http://www.hensaver.com/hen-saver-hen-apron-saddle.html


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