Farm Management Technologies for Animal Based Measurements
Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) is the use of advanced farm management technologies to optimize the contribution of each animal, delivering the best results. By understanding environmental factors such as climate, feed and water and interpreting what the animals tell us, it is possible to get a clear insight into what is going on and react accordingly. The technologies used are available 24 hours a day which means decisions are made on continual assessment as opposed to a point in time check.
In order to objectively assess animal welfare, farm operators should know what the status is now and how to make appropriate decisions. The predictions made from the information gathered are crucial, generated by data from sensors monitoring climate, feed and water usage. Through technological advancement and using algorithmic calculations, it is possible to assist the eyes and ears of the farmer and convert the sensor outputs into numeric values that can be compared. Using cameras and sound it is possible to measure aggression, weight and coughing in pigs and several behavioral aspects in chickens. By combining these it is possible to place a value on not only how efficiently the animal grew but also its welfare and social experience, how healthy it lived and ultimately how safe it is to eat.