French Pig Producers Make Use of Electronic Sow Feeding

FRANCE - Last May, a new facility for 250 pregnant sows was brought into operation in Sergent, Brittany, France.
calendar icon 25 June 2008
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The decision was made that the 400-sow herd would spend their gestation period in a straw-based group housing system.


The naturally ventilated building is equipped with 5 Nedap Velos feed stations positioned on a slatted floor. This combination with a central separation unit allows a clear allocation of the different zones of use. This is beneficial to a stress-free operation and motivates sows to produce faeces in a limited, dedicated area.

The automatic heat detection system keeps a constant check on the behaviour of the individual sows towards a boar. Any change in behaviour is analyzed and, when appropriate, this is highlighted to the farmer with the sow receiving a colour mark to allow easy identification. The need for a daily walk with the boar by farm staff is removed with this automatic heat detection system.

The Electronic Sow Feeding (ESF) is the strongest weapon farm automation can offer in fighting the still increasing feed prices. Being the only system that allows true individual feeding of group housed sows, ESF can guarantee an optimal sow condition. This saves feed use per produced piglet, and help to improve feed efficiency.

The French Nedap Velos dealer ACO-Funki France has been guiding this project from the planning stage. They will be installing a further 1000+ sow operation later this year.

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