"Why does this batch grow at 1,050 grams per day, while the next one grows at 1,200 grams?"
Tom Mortensen from Vestervig is an ambitious pig producer with excellent results behind him, the latest of which placed him at number one in the charts of the former Midtjysk Svinerådgivning (Midtjyllands Swine Consultancy) – but he would like to improve even more.
He's lacking an overview of his production; he's looking for a system that can show him the growth of his slaughter pigs on a daily basis. He believes that he's found a possibility for this with SKOV's ProGrow, which will be launched this month.
"How did it go this time and what about the next batch?" asks Tom Mortensen rhetorically. He continues:"I've participated in many experiments with the Federation of Danish Pig Production and Slaughterhouses in the past and it was therefore natural for me to participate in the testing of SKOV's system. With ProGrow, I can check the individual feed dispenser and observe whether the feed consumption changes.
We can also see if the pigs are showing any symptoms of disease by combining the feed data with the water consumption. The first reaction of the pigs is that they start to drink less or more. Perhaps we will be able to detect diseases before they break out. Or perhaps we just need to change the diet.”
Replacing manual teams
Tom Mortensen, whose farm comprises 650 sows and a production of 20,000 slaughter pigs, sees ProGrow as a good replacement for weekly manual weighings, which he has spent a great deal of his time on.
SKOV’s Product Manager, Niels Henrik Lundgaard, adds: “ProGrow is more precise than manual weighings, as they require you to carry out the weighing at the same time of day. Furthermore, you have no idea of what happens from the day of weighing until the next week’s weighing.”
At the beginning of March, Tom Mortensen ran a batch of 258 slaughter pigs through the section where the weighing cameras were installed. The cameras have been adjusted, but the retrieved data he has seen so far have made him optimistic regarding the accuracy of the cameras in the pens.
“We are still in the initial phase of testing the system and we have yet to try out different kinds of feeding strategies. “But one of my thoughts with this system is that we can, for instance, work with the pigs’ diet to avoid the usual breaks in the growth curve,” explains Tom Mortensen, which is currently about 2.52 FU/kg growth from 22.7 to 112.7 kg with a daily gain in growth of 1,024 grams.
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