Test Cases

Automated monitoring for better pig production management in Belgium

KU Leuven



Biogeographical region

Range of digital technologies
Pig production management software with individual pig registration, Automated health and welfare monitoring (cameras/microphones), Automated monitoring of growth/weight, Automated sow monitoring (feeding/oestrus)

Target stakeholders
Intensive pig farmers working with/without precision livestock farming tools, having 2000 pigs per farmer on average.

Short description
Pig management software with individual pig registration will be applied in order to analyse individual performance data gathered using electronic ear tags. By using cameras and artificial intelligence, which can analyse video recordings, the behaviour and welfare of the pigs can be monitored. Microphones combined with automated analysis on the other hand can be used for cough monitoring which provides early warnings about possible respiratory tract infections. Automated monitoring of growth/weight will be also applied to measure the weight of the pigs by video-analysis. Automated sow monitoring will be also leveraged to approximate sow weight and monitor pigs behaviour.

Major goals
Better knowledge of the individual performance can lead to improved sow selection and higher efficiency. The susceptibility to diseases can also be followed up and can be used for selection. These features can thereby improve the productivity of the pigs while helping pig farmers to increase the efficiency of their management decisions. The major goal of using cameras and AI is to improve the welfare and sustainability of the pig sector. By early disease detection, costs due to antibiotic use can be lowered, as well as the environmental impact while productivity can be improved. Another goal of this TC is to monitor the weight of the pigs during time in order to seek out stragglers which may suffer from disease. The main goal of the automated sow monitoring is the improvement of the milk yield and eases farrowing, of the productivity and the lower feed costs.