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Automatic monitoring of water intake in sows to improve animal welfare and productivity

Water intake in farrowing sows is of special importance. However, under current genetics and management conditions, water intake recommendations around farrowing and during lactation are unclear. The general objective of the project is the automatically monitor water intake in sows during lactation to improve the welfare of both sows and piglets and increase efficiency. To obtain continuous and accurate water consumption data, precision automatic flowmeters (iPERL, Sensus®) are being used. These are installed in the sows’ drinkers in the farrowing units that communicate with a control centre following an IoT scheme.

The specific objectives are:

  1. Validation of automatic flowmeters under commercial farm conditions.
  2. Determination factors that influence water intake in sows in farrowing units such as environmental conditions, parity and circadian rhythm.
  3. Correlation water intake with sow and piglet’s productivity.
  4. Prediction of the onset of farrowing through patterns of water intake.
  5. Prediction of diseases involving dysgalactia through patterns of water consumption.

Video recorder and flowmeter for farrowing


Project funded through operation 01.02.01 Technology Transfer of the Catalan Rural Development Program 2014-2022

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