Together with his wife, Theo Vernooij (34) owns a pig farm with eight hundred sows in Nijkerk, Netherlands. He recently started working with a hand-held terminal that is connected to his PC. "First I had all the information about my animals in my head and wrote a lot. Especially on my hands, which were completely full. Now that I work with the hand terminal, that gives me peace and structure. In one round through the barn, I collected all the information, without having to enter the data. And believe me, it is much more fun to walk between my animals than to sit behind the computer!
Curious what you can do with a hand-held?
Many pig farmers still use a clipboard in the barn to write the entire life of each individual animal on a card. A laundry list of information that must then be retyped. With digital techniques the entire life of a pig, or of a group of animals, is easier to capture. "If I wanted to keep up with the mortality, I had to print the lists first with the sow number. Now there is a barcode at the bottom of the sow card. You scan the code and see immediately how many piglets the sow has thrown and how much rejection there has been. With the press of a button, I gather all the information from the animal, "says Vernooij enthusiastically.
More recording with less work
If you start working on a mobile phone, you notice that you can capture more with relatively less effort. Someone who works with his hands can not combine this with administrative actions. With the hand-held terminal you can register during insemination, which sow it is, on which date the insemination takes place, who has treated the animal, who the father is, or the animal indicated a good reflex, etc. While on written work lists you often only to note the much-needed. The chance of errors is also much smaller, because you record data directly in the barn. You do not have to decipher or enter a handwriting afterwards. And the software also checks whether the input is logical.
Knowing by recording
Meanwhile Vernooij uses the hand terminal to keep track of everything. From mortality, information on farrowing and the number of piglets to be weaned, until when an animal is mated, by which boar and if the sow pregnant. ,, I like to be busy with figures and be on the ball. Thats way I know what my animals are doing. There is a lot of data available in pig farming where too little is done. You do know by measuring. Now I can analyze more and discuss the results with my vet or with the feed supplier. And new figures and results come in every week. In addition, it is a very easy system. Last week I was on vacation and an employee took over the work without problems. "