This year, 4 pig innovations received 2 stars at the annual international animal husbandry trade show SPACE, held in Rennes, France. The biggest winner was Belgium’s NoHow with Maxipig – an innovation to treat pig semen with LED signals.
NoHow – Maxipig: Pig semen treatment equipment
This innovation was the only 2-star innovation that was even rewarded a complimentary 3rd star. It is an automatic treatment of pig semen for 30 minutes in this box with a LED-based exposure protocol, which increases the energy of the spermatozoid by transforming the adenosine monophosphate towards the adenosine triphosphate. The spermatozoid will then have a longer viability, a more intense and unidirectional movement and in addition its capacity to penetrate the egg will be improved.
Trials have shown better fertility rates by more than 2% and much more. The company reported trials from Spain, as well as from Belgium, which show that fertility could rise to more than 10% if semen is of a lower quality.
Initially, the product was designed to increase the number of births. Tests have so far shown an increase in total births of 0.7 piglets per farrowing. The tests are carried out in breeding farms, always including half a group for control and half a group in trial with this new innovation. NoHow is a daughter company of animal nutrition company Inve Belgium.
BDPorc – PigConnect: Smartphone application for removal orders
Pig accompanying-orders or removal orders are regulatory documents that accompany animals during transport. Currently, these orders are filled in on paper by the breeders, before each departure of animals.
BDPorc provided a new application that allows them to complete removal orders online. The app could be admired at SPACE at the ‘Maison du Porc’, a booth housing pig research institutes in France. In the app, the data are saved in a computer system and are transmitted in real time to the different operators of the industry (animal carriers, transport operators, slaughterhouses, animal destination sites, etc.).
According to the press information shared, the innovation was a ‘money saver’:
• Cost reduction regarding the management of removal orders, printing of the documents, sending them to the breeders.
• Reduction of the filling-in time of the removal orders, part of the information is stored in the database and thus is pre-filled on the online removal orders.
• Reduction of the administrative workload (sorting and classification of removal orders).
• No need to rewrite the removal orders when the movements are notified in the app. The new application allows modifying one or several removal orders seized during the round.
• Reliability of the saved data and reduction of correction related costs.
Fournier – Modulo-therm: Floor covering
The Modulo-Therm by Brittany, France-based floor producer Fournier is a patented concept, based on an optimisation of the energetics outlays by creating slat floor areas at optimum temperature following a zootechnical programme.
According to the innovation, the slat is composed, at least, of one circulation pipe of a heat fluid. Thus, the offered solution is based on a new approach, which offers heating or cooling areas for piglets and sows where they could lie down. One or several slats can be implemented in dedicated piglet places.
In other words, hot water will warm the areas where piglets stretch out in order to maintain a good body temperature. One or several slats can be implemented in dedicated sow places. In those cases, cold water will refresh the areas where sows stretch out in order to ensure the breastfeeding quality of the sows.
RF-Track – ActiSow: Feedstuff distribution equipment
Individual management of body reserves of pregnant sows is made more difficult by grouping them. In farms equipped with automatic feeding systems identifying the sows, the individualisation of the feed remains possible.
Combined with automated weighing and a sensor (accelerometer) quantifying the physical activity level of each sow, the project’s goal was to feed each animal precisely. These same technologies can produce alert indicators by identifying behavioural signals that may indicate an early breeding, welfare and/or health problem (interruption of gestation, fever, lameness, eating behaviour, etc.).
The expectations of this precision management consist of an improvement of the breeding conditions but also the economic efficiency, with an expected gain of about €20,000 per year for a medium-sized farm. RF-Track’s ActiSow was developed as part of a Casdar project in which the French Pork and Pig Institute (IFIP) is the project leader.
About the 2017 edition of SPACE
SPACE is in its 31st year, with roughly 1,450 exhibitors, of which 500 hail from outside France. Total floor space available for the show is 60,191 m2.
The show usually nominates innovations with either 1 star or 2 stars, depending on the verdict of an expert jury.