Innovations at EuroTier, 16-19 November 2010, Hanover, Germany
The demand for high hygiene standards increases in-line with the need to produce welfare-based high quality pig meat for an increasingly discerning public. One single disinfectant product that can tackle a wide spectrum of pathogenic organisms is a welcomed innovation, aimed at saving costs and labour in practical farming. The award-winning Desintec FL-des Allround, put on the market by Agravis and Kesla Pharma Wolfen, combines an effective component against bacteria, microbacteria, fungi and viruses with one offering parasite control.
German animal health company Bayer Animal Healthpresented tools for pig producers to gain insight into the health status of their farms. On the market now are pig-farm proof checklists for piglets from prenatal sow management to weaning. Colourful, easy-to-read and printed on strong paper, they can be carried through pig farms and be used whenever needed. For now, the tool is only available in German.
* In addition, the company launched BayTool – an online programme to monitor the fight against unwanted visitors on-farm, like rats, mice or flies.
In the QuigTag method, location signets in the animal housing steer the software in the smartphone and facilitate navigation in the software. Not only are the animal ear tags read out via the smartphone, but also previously loaded location and action signets/ symbols facilitate and accelerate programme operation.
Entries of actions in the animal housing via keys and touchscreen are reduced. Clear symbols steer data capture without any laborious menu guidance. QuigTag, launched by Big Dutchman, won a silver medal.
Automatic pregnancy scanning
Sonocheck was one of the innovations presented by Big Dutchman – and the only pig-related innovation that won a gold medal. Surely the logical step in computerised pig herd management. This one not only makes management easier, it also has the potential of greatly reducing stress for the animals concerned. The post-service sow is scanned automatically while she is at the feeding station and the scans relayed to the herd computer and automatically analysed. Warnings are posted on-terminal or via mobile phone if the scans prove negative. Naturally the manager can intervene at any time.
Dosatron, the French manufacturer of systems for medication through drinking water, introduced the Diaphragm range, usable for farms with low pressure water or low pressure demand. The range is aimed at injecting medication into water systems in livestock operations in ranges from 1-4% (the DIA4RE model). The innovation was needed as some farms are dealing with water tanks with low pressure, or require water in low amounts, e.g. for young animals or small groups. The technology can deal with pressures varying from 0.15 bar up to 5.5 bar. Water flow ranges can vary from 4.5 litres/hour to 2.5 m 3 /hour.
Henke-Sass, Wolf, German manufacturer of high-quality injection systems, launched a new series of long-distance injection bars. Available in two sizes varying from various decimetres to 83 cm (working length) - 102 cm (total length), they allow pig producers to vaccinate pigs without having to come too close. This improves safety and reduces stress in pigs and producers. The long injection devices are made of carbon-metal materials, which is flexible and unbreakable. In addition the company offers rigid and flexible extensions with shorter lengths that can be adapted to all their syringes.
Vaccine for neonatal diarrhoea
Spanish animal health company Hipra introduced its latest addition to the portfolio – Suiseng, a vaccine against neonatal piglet diarrhoea and sudden death in sows. The vaccine, administered in sows, will lead to neonatal piglets passively being protected against diarrhoea caused by E. coli and Clostridium perfringens type C. It also prevents sudden death in sows themselves by neutralising α toxin of Clostridium novyi. The vaccine incorporates a new generation water-based adjuvant, which includes saponins extracted from Ginseng, called Hipramune-G.
As Europe is moving towards boar fattening, German equipment and pig house manufacturer Hölscher + Leuschner presented a system which allows for entires and gilts to be kept mixed, called BoarSort. The novelty is an automatic feeding and sorting machine, separating on gender. Keeping boars and gilts mixed in large groups (250-400 animals), shows reduced aggression and injury potential, especially in boars. In addition, the system allows for special feeding programmes, e.g. higher amounts of lysine can be supplied through the system.
Hysolv presented Footcheck, a both simple and effective way of improving farm hygiene and biosecurity. The new type of footbath has internal measuring chambers to ensure the right concentration of disinfectants. Putting the box in an angle of 45 degrees (as shown), allows producers to fill the footbath with the exact amount of disinfectant, prior to placing the bath flat to fill with water. In addition, the footbath comes with a simple sticker monitoring system to monitor who filled the bath and when the contents need to be changed. The footbath is made of durable HDPE, designed to be robust and easily cleaned.
Biodegradable AI catheters
Two AI companies from the same country (France) – IMV Technologies and Landata/ Cobiporc – have individually developed the hygienically advantageous innovation of fully biologically degradable catheters for sow insemination. This is a money-saving development in countries where used catheters are treated as ‘special refuse’ and have to be boxed and collected separately for disposal at considerable cost. The new catheters can be disposed of in the manure and rot down within a few weeks. IMV developed the Truegreen AI Catheter; whereas Landata/ Cobiporc launched the Biocath (photo).
Soft rubber flooring
Soft rubber flooring is a development that’s been tested successfully with cattle in passageways and is now being tested for pregnant sows for their lying areas. Only last year a trial at the Baden-Württemberg Boxberg Pig Breeding Institute showed that rubber matting on sow service centre flooring reduced hoof and leg injuries by over 30%. Lifetime performance therefore increases and it represents another step towards modern higher-welfare housing. There were various companies exhibiting the soft floor approach. One good example was Kraiburg Elastik’s Porca Relax.
Dutch electronic livestock system manufacturer Nedap launched its Velos Sorting for finisher pigs. The animals are kept in groups of approximately 250-400 animals. The machine combines weight and identification to select the right amount of animals. This information can be useful for all stakeholders, be it the feed plant, the veterinarians, managers or the processing plant. For the identification, Nedap uses LiveID, with a passive RFID tag, combining optimal reading range with the lowest loss rates. It is light enough for young born animals and powerful for mature animals.
Austrian livestock equipment manufacturer Schauer introduced various novelties, among which was the Energy Feeder (photo), an automatic oil feeding machine, to be used for farrowing sows. This element offers producers the opportunity to add oil to feed in limited amounts – a practice which is quite common in Austria as it is known to help improve the milk yield considerably. * Also introduced were gestation crates with an easy flap door, which can swing both outward and inward – and can also be fixed. This facilitates AI and gives a good overview of the dry sow house.
Dutch pig equipment supplier MS Schipperslaunched a solution to increase litter sizes with highly prolific sows – a creep divider (photo). The system, now on trial, features a divided creep, each section having its own automatic access flap to the sow. Dimensions have not been decided on so far.
* In addition, together with AgriSyst, Dutch company Schippers introduced high frequency applications in ear tags, of which the cost price is low. The HF application allows animals to be scanned simultaneously and data can prove to be a valuable source of information.
Yoghurt for piglets
Nuklospray is a yoghurt structure for supplementary feed and milk replacer for suckling pigs, developed by Dutch animal nutrition company Sloten, and in trials it was proven to encourage uptake as from day one after birth. It is a new way of getting young piglets more used to the idea of solid feeds. The nutrient composition of the feed supplement is designed to be complementary to sow’s milk, but has a modified viscosity to control the digestion. This results in specific influences on acceptance and hence on feed uptake, as well as on digestive physiology.
Quick Response system
Dammann & Westerkamp (Weda) introduced the MIX (Mobile Information Xtraction), a black and white encryption code attached to its feeding units. The method allows for simple sourcing of technical and service-relevant information via internet-capable mobile phones or smartphones, through the use of QR (= quick response) codes. With this (free) application, farmers or technicians can obtain information on the machine, on fault elimination or on spare part procurement very quickly. This allows a broad supply of information via the web, around the clock.