Big Dutchman’s electronic sow feeding system earns Seal of Approval
The American Humane Association (USA) has awarded the Seal of Approval for Humane Equipment to Big Dutchman’s CallMatic 2 electronic sow feeding system (ESF).
Electronic sow feeding systems allow true individual feeding while sows are kept in groups rather than gestation crates during pregnancy, giving them the ability to move freely, rest comfortably and interact naturally with other sows. As concerns for animal welfare, demanding that sows are no longer confined to gestation stalls, are growing strongly all over the world, ESF is becoming an important and well accepted alternative.
Big Dutchman’s ‘CallMatic 2’ is the result of 30 years of continuous research and development in an effort to perfect ESF for large and small breeding operations. It was also an effort towards more humane housing concepts and technology – first requested and pushed by Europe – and now being recognized and appreciated in North America. The Seal of Approval, received from the American Humane Association, is another important step ahead for substantial collaborations between hog producers, equipment manufacturers and welfare organizations.
The American Humane Association created America’s first third party audit and animal welfare certification program. Today food producers with more than 60 million farm animals have been certified by American Humane Association’s science-based farm animal program, responding to consumer and retailer demand for an independent, third-party verification of their practices.
CallMatic 2 ESF systems are successfully running in numerous farms in the US, Canada and the rest of the world, providing sows with freedom of movement and true individual, undisturbed feeding. At the same time, CallMatic pleases farmers with the advantage of a total management tool. The production results are similar in all operations: good sow performance, often better than before the transition to group housing and CallMatic.
Reed Gibby from Nature Farms in Idaho, who moved his 1100 sows into pen gestation with Callmatic 2 several years ago, is one of many satisfied customers and proud of his achievements with the system: “We put the sows in dynamic groups and this has resulted in almost no fighting in groups.” Gibby adds: “We love the CallMatic system. We have seen an overall improvement with sow health: fewer lame sows and less problems in the farrowing department because sows are more mobile. The condition of the sows is much easier to maintain and we feel we have fewer still born pigs also”.
Hans Ulrich, director of Pig Equipment Sales at Big Dutchman Inc., USA, an expert in automatic feeding and sow management who has worked with breeders for over 30 years, is happy to receive the Seal of Approval as formal acknowledgement for the superiority of the Big Dutchman system. But he also remarks, that for him “the best proof of the system’s benefits and accomplishments, is to hear our customer’s enthusiasm… or to see it for yourself, standing amidst a group of 120 placid sows, that are chilling together or just taking a walk – and interacting naturally.”