In the past, about forty years ago, you went as a pig farmer with a bucket of food along the troughs. Nowadays, the feed goes into a trough and is continuously topped up, fully automated. As many animals as possible are fed as quickly as possible, with the right amount. But how much feed an animal actually absorbs? There is little sight on that. While feed is one of the most important elements for healthy and efficient pig farming. Moreover, a lot of money is invested to make the best food, but does it also affect the animal?
How do you know how much food your animals really become?
Pig farmers are busy with the quality of the feed and the purchase of the right raw materials. But if an animal wants to perform well, it has to absorb sufficient feed. Often the farmer knows how many kilo's per day the animals record on average, but what actually happens in which phase is not very clear and based on snapshots and gut feeling.
Daily information about feed intake
Change in feed intake can have various causes. For example, at a certain moment a customer noticed that his animals ate less at the weekend. He was searching for the cause for ages. Would his weekend employees pay attention? After installing the FeedMonitor, a tool that informs pig farmers about feed intake every day, they saw that the animals started to eat less before the weekend. It turned out that every Wednesday a certain product was delivered, which was used on Thursday and the first days were not found so tasteful by the pigs. After a few days the food became more acidic and tastier for the animals. On Monday, feed intake was again up to standard.
Different food, different taste, saturation?
If you see that an animal eats less, changing to different feed may be the reason. After all, a young pig gets different food than an older pig, and has to get used to it. Perhaps it is a question of adjusting the taste, a different recipe or composition, so that it meets the needs of the animal. It can also be related to health problems. Perhaps the animals are fed too much in the beginning and they are saturated after a few weeks. Older animals take the feed easier, but if you give them too much at the end, they get too much bacon. Just like people get a belly in later life.
Gut feeling or figures?
What is striking in our sector is that a lot of time and money is put into details, while in feed intake there are too many deviations. Pig farmers substantiate their findings on the basis of their gut feeling, and make decisions on experience and entrepreneurship. While with a daily monitoring of feed intake you focus on possible deviations, like a thermometer in the company. The animals react immediately when the food or health is not optimal.
Daily monitoring of situation on feed
Before you enter the barn you take five minutes to see what the numbers say and you see at a glance where it runs less, where you can improve. It is a daily finger on the pulse in the process, also for the longer term. You see where the deviations are and can immediately respond to the figures. Pig farmers should focus on this and invest their time, energy and knowledge. Sounds logical right? But why many companies still do not do it?