Technology trends

4 Technological trends to optimize pig feed

Intelligent pig feeding is an innovative approach based on the intensive and integrated use of recent advances in technological and engineering tools and materials, such as advanced sensors and detection devices, data processing and detection methods. machine learning, to automatically and continuously monitor and control pig feeding processes and to optimize feeding strategies. The following technology trends aim to improve pig nutrition.

Internet of things and connectivity

The Internet of Things is a new paradigm on the ability of connected devices and high-speed Internet to sense, collect, and share data using the Internet so that it can be processed and used to achieve goals common. The general emphasis on the Internet of Things in animal feed production is pushing platforms to provide the latest industrial technologies, such as Ethernet/industrial protocol or cloud connectivity. The functionality of the sensor can be extended beyond the measurement of physical phenomena to raw data and will be further integrated with automation technology.

Automatic feeders

As part of intelligent pig feeding, automatic feeders are used to provide each pig with the right amount and composition of feed at all times. Each pig wears a unique radio frequency identification tag that identifies it in the feeder. Then the vending machine dispenses the exact amount of feed needed for each pig. Pigs tend to leave the feed trough empty or leave very small amounts of feed after each visit, ensuring that each individual receives the assigned amount of mixed feed. The weighing components register the weight of the pigs while they feed. In addition, feed density should be measured weekly and this information will be used to convert feed volumes to feed weights. Finally, all data can be analyzed to make management decisions in real time.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is described as a stimulation of human intelligence in machines that exhibit traits associated with the human mind, such as learning and problem solving. It aims to understand and design systems that exhibit properties of intelligence, such as the ability to learn, derive knowledge from data, rationalize, and act to achieve specific goals. Big data combined with artificial intelligence algorithms can be transformed into useful information to improve decision-making in pig farms. In the context of smart pig feeding, smart barns and artificial intelligence technologies control barn environments, organize pig flow and manage data.

Call feed station

A call feed station is an active pig feeding control system that can be installed in every pen. It produces a jingle, and if the appropriate animal enters the feeder, food will be provided. Pigs show improved meat quality (0.2% less intramuscular fat, 1.1% less drip loss and 7% more oxidative muscle fibers), lower frequency of abnormal behaviors such as belly nose and better healing of skin lesions. Additionally, this system generally minimizes competitive fighting, improves pig health and welfare, and reduces stress levels.

Future prospects

The advancement of intelligent pig feeding requires the development of user-friendly integrated systems and the training of end users. Additionally, smart pig feeding has the potential to be an essential part of innovative pig production systems, which involves changes in processes and system elements. Further research is needed to find appropriate ways to introduce management interventions based on this information with the aim of improving the production process.