Experimental design and setup – PigIT, University of Copenhagen

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Experimental design and setup

The alliance will primarily rely on mature sensor technology which is already in use in commercial systems for pig production for data collection, albeit on a higher level, e.g. section based sensors rather than pen level.

The early efforts in the alliance will be focused on establishing a number of test-pens at Research Centre Foulum. These test-pens will be equipped with simple sensors for automatic monitoring of climate, activity, feeding and growth of the pigs. These test-pens will serve as a pilot study with respect to data collection and serve as the basis for establishing the central database required by the alliance to collect and disseminate data.

Similar sensors will thereafter be installed in a number of sections and pens in commercial herds, which have been identified by LFS/VSP as suitable participants in the alliance based on their herd infrastructure, current use of ICT and availability of a certain level of production and welfare challenges as outlined in the above cases. The typical case will focus on one or two of the test herds, but will use data from all the herds. The number of pens in each test herd will vary in order to make sure that sufficient information can be gathered for each case.

The sensor data will also be used to provide documentation for the validity of the algorithms combined with e.g. systematical clinical examinations, video recordings etc. This will in some herds be supplemented by individual identification of the pigs using RFID and video recordings to be used for image analysis.