Dynamic monitoring of weight data at the pen vs at the individual level

Dan Børge Jensen, Nils Toft, Anders Ringgaard Kristensen & Cécile Cornou

Oral presentation

65th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science


The PigIT project, led by the University of Copenhagen, aims at improving welfare and productivity in growing pigs using ICT methods. Automatically and manually recorded data are currently being collected in a production herd. One of the first steps of the project is to make use of the manually recorded weight data from finisher pigs. Data are collected at insertion and at the exit of the first pigs in the pen, and in few pens, the weight is recorded weekly. Dynamic linear models are fitted on the weight data, at the pig level (univariate), at the double pen level using averaged weight (univariate) and using individual pig values as parameters in a hierarchical (multivariate) model including section, double pen, and individual level. Variance components of the different models are estimated using the Expectation Maximization algorithm. The difference of information obtained at the individual vs pen level is thereafter assessed. Whereas weight data is usually monitored after a batch is being sent to the slaughter house, this method provides weekly updating of the data. Perspectives of application include dynamic monitoring of weight data in relation to events such as diarrhoea, tail biting and fouling in order to assess whether it is possible to detect deviations of patterns before or during the occurrence of these events.