Belgian pig breeder uses automation to scale up

Belgium - Scaling up your facilities is a common thing to do in modern pig breeding. Although people realise that this also demands increasing labour, few realise the big difference between organising a 100, 500 or 1000+ operation. By letting automation fulfil a key role in individual animal management, this Belgium farmer allows himself to develop his farm further.
calendar icon 30 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

To ensure the delivery of large groups of piglets to the finisher, the farm operates in a 2-week sequence. Every batch contains 100 sows, that stay together during the full cycle and make up the 1100 sow unit in the west of Belgium.

Nedap's Electronic Sow Feeding System

A large part of that cycle, the full pregnancy stage, is spent in the Nedap Velos ESF (Electronic Sow Feeding). By using this system, the farmer can virtually put in recently inseminated animals and collect fully pregnant, well conditioned sows after about 100 days. During that period the system feeds according to a preset feed curve, checks feed intake and alert deviations, can adjust for condition and, by using automatic heat detection, alerts sows returning into heat.

It is the Nedap Velos that empowers the farm staff to dedicate themselves to individual animal management. Rather then checking sow by sow feed intake, condition and heat, Nedap Velos allows them to focus an those animals that are deviating from the expected or desired.

Saving time is good, but recent rising in feed prices make it important to have full control of feed management. The individual approach allows an exact feed curve, whereas group or herd management requires some extra for safety. That extra quickly makes up 10% to 20% of feed use. More importantly, sows are better supported in their production. The facility was put in operation in the second half of November 2007 and is expecting full production in the course of 2008.

Further Reading

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