Making the most out of piggery monitoring

UK - Monitoring the performance of pigs while they are still in their pens - as opposed to simply recording it after slaughter - can save even average-sized herds thousands of pounds. Over 50 British pig units are now doing just this by utilising the Barn Report system, pioneered by Reading-based monitoring specialists, Farmex.
calendar icon 11 January 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Many of the benefits from this 'spy in the sty' come from using specially-written software to analyse key factors, such as water and feed consumption and temperature control, then employing the information to predict their effect on future performance.

To help users get the best out of the system 11 owners, managers, vets and stock-people gathered at Bowes of Watton's Norfolk headquarters for a training day.

"This is the first of a series being held throughout the country and the aim is to provide technical support to ensure users are competent to reap the rewards of 'real-time' monitoring. We have shown that, in return for an investment of 50p per pig a financial gain of 32.50 per pig can be achieved," commented Hugh Crabtree, managing director of Farmex, which organised the event.

The 'hands-on' approach gives an insight into previously unknown or unobserved incidents that regularly take place in piggeries. Identifying them through sensors installed in the pens, and linked to an office computer, can reduce energy and water use, and flag-up problems with feed and water supply, resulting in reduced waste as well as improved performance.

"Training is an essential part of deriving value from IT tools in pig production," said industry consultant Mick Evans, who led the workshop. Attendees included Jim Burling, Bowes of Watton; Derek Jones, Bowes' finishing contractor; Susan Walpole, Oakwood Veterinary Practice; Ian Dennis, Oakwood Veterinary Practice; Andrew Crosser, Bowes fieldsman; Ivan Alexander, Bowes' contract finisher; David Baird-Parker, Bowes contractors' admin; Charles Bowes, Tim Webster, unit manager; Simon Guise, Bacton Pigs Ltd and Helen Whitney, BQP.

Delegates monitoring pig performance,from the comfort of Bowes' Norfolk office,
at a recent Barn Report training day organised by Farmex.

Source: FarmEx - 11th January 2006
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