Main results – PigIT, University of Copenhagen

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The main results of the project

In its 5-year life-time the alliance will produce results consisting of advanced ICT methods and tools which will lead to optimal decision making in the production of growing pigs, and an improvement in animal welfare and productivity. The state-of-the-art for use of ICT in pig production will be improved with full integration of data streams and decision support in the data and management infrastructure of pig farms. Monitoring methods and decision support will be developed that focus on automatically recorded behavioural measures, which serve as early indicators of productivity and animal welfare problems. Industrial methods for process design, control, and development will be implemented in order to allow a continuous improvement of the production process on each farm.

Results in terms of welfare improvements will focus on tail biting, diarrhea and undesired excretory behavior. These targeted welfare issues will be quantified, methods for event detection developed, and intervention options suggested and tested. Results in terms of productivity optimization will focus on individual monitoring of growth and feed consumption, and on optimization of feeding and marketing policy for finishers. Here, systems for detecting changes in individual growth rate and/or feeding pattern will be developed; these systems will also serve as an indicator of poor health and welfare problems, since growth and welfare are tightly linked. The value of information in terms of improved welfare and improved gross margin will also be quantified and included in the development of decision support systems.

Academically, the alliance will contribute with education of four PhD students and training of three post docs with interdisciplinary competences in livestock herd management and ICT.