Pig farmer Martin Houben knows how to make optimum use of the data stream from smart scales
Continuously monitoring the feed curve of fattening pigs with real-time weighing data. In other words, having insight into the feed conversion of his growing animals at all times. This is Martin Houben’s goal with the twelve MS PigScale scales at his brand new pig farm in Grubbenvorst. “I need smart animal scales that are robust and that deliver reliable data.”
For two years Martin Houben, director of the Houbensteyn Group, tested the MS PigScale at one of his fattening pigs locations. “I want to have real-time data and use it to finetune my business operations,” he says. Fully automatic weighing of growing animals in the MS Schippers freestanding weighing unit was a great success for the pig farmer from Ysselsteyn, Limburg. “First of all, I wanted to make sure that the automatic collection of animal weights works in practice and provides reliable data. In my experience, this is the case with this robust and smart scale.”
Houben then had the continuous flow of weighing data from the MS PigScale linked to the data from his liquid feed computer. Houbensteyn Group and AgriSyst, the translator of data into return, collaborated to the development of a feed conversion monitor. “At any time of the day, I now have insight into the weight development of our pigs and the feed conversion,” says Houben. “By optimising the feed curve based on this continuous data flow, we can adjust the growth of the fattening pigs in an even more targeted way.
A well-informed choice
When building the new ‘Houbensteyn Heideveld’ pig farm in Grubbenvorst, Houben chose the MS PigScale in a well-informed manner. He bought twelve of them and divided them into four of the total of 51 departments. There are three animal weighers in each department, each in a wall between two pens. Those three MS PigScale units collect 24/7 the weight of 84 animals that get the liquid feed in a long through. This means that real-time weighing data is collected at four different points in the fattening pig’s growth and linked to the actual feed intake. “This allows me to keep my finger on the pulse and adjust the growth immediately with the feed curve or feed composition, if necessary. I want to convert feed into pork meat as efficiently as possible,” underlines Houben. “The MS PigScale is a smart tool that fits in with my quest for further efficiency. I am convinced that pig farming of the future can no longer do without these data.”
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