Automatic animal weighing reduces feed costs

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The ever-rising feed costs are placing considerable pressure on the profitability of pig and poultry producers. It is therefore crucial to use feed efficiently, or increase your efficiency, and focus on achieving the highest growth per kilo of feed. This factor is often expressed as feed conversion. The feed conversion rate is a good reflection of the efficiency of your management strategy. The lower the feed conversion rate, the less feed is needed by the animals for growth and the higher the efficiency. There is also another benefit: an improvement in feed conversion means animals utilise nutrients more efficiently, resulting in fewer minerals being excreted in their manure and urine. This reduces the environmental burden of nitrogen emissions.

It is important to know how much the animals weigh in order to determine their feed conversion rate. The weight of animals is often estimated visually. Small errors of judgment are not necessarily a problem, but not everyone has the eye of a master. Weighing is the only way to know with certainty how much your animals weigh. But generally, you won’t have time to put your animals on a weighing platform every day. Manual weighing is time consuming and less reliable because there are relatively few measurements. And the results are not representative of the entire house as weighing is usually limited to just a small section. Manual weighing often causes stress in the house and entails a risk of introducing diseases. An automatic animal weighing system is the ideal solution that can help reduce feed costs. It might seem a less obvious solution than adapting the feed composition and feed value and reducing feed waste. However, automatic weight monitoring is an ideal way to improve feed conversion and the performance of the animals.

Growth under control

Growth under control

Continuously weighing your animals provides an up to date overview of the growth process in your house. What is the daily weight gain of my animals? Are all my animals growing at the same rate? Is animal growth uniform in each cycle? Is disease impacting on growth? An automatic animal weighing system can answer all these questions. 

If growth stagnates or declines, you can respond rapidly by adapting the feed composition, for example, and intervene quickly to prevent the situation getting worse. Lack of growth that goes unnoticed in the first days of the production cycle is almost impossible to recover afterwards. Catching up on the lost weight will always require extra feed and probably more expensive ingredients to ensure your animals are back on the curve. And if your animals are too heavy, they are probably being given too much feed. This leads to unnecessarily high feed costs.

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Insight into activity

Because it registers how many times the animals are weighed, an automatic animal weighing system also gives insight into animal activity. If a sudden drop in activity is noticed there is probably something wrong. This could signal a disease. Early intervention is recommended because reduced activity can lead to feet problems, a reduced feed and water intake and ultimately lower growth. An early warning generated by your animal weighing system can avoid these issues. This has benefits for the feed costs too, as animals that are ill lag behind in growth and need extra feed for recovery. 

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Insight into activity

Automatic weighing for poultry

An automatic poultry weighing system consists of a smart control computer and one or more weighing scales in the house. The animals are weighed continuously and automatically - without them being disturbed. A good system can register up to 3000 measurements per day. This gives a reliable picture of the current situation in a way that would be impossible with manual weighing.

Automatic weighing for poultry
Automatic weighing for finishers

Automatic weighing for finishers

Finishers are weighed using a camera system. A 3D camera installed in the ridge of the section continually monitors and registers the animals so the computer can accurately calculate their weight. This process is entirely automatic and stress-free for the animals.

The time for an animal weighing system is now

Farmers who switch to an automatic animal weighing system have enhanced insight into the performance of their animals and can easily implement changes aimed at an optimal feed strategy and reducing feed costs. The extra investment in the system is quickly recovered. And that is what counts against the background of the today’s spiralling feed costs.

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