Smart farming is becoming more popular in various regions of Europe. In Southern Greece they are currently using it to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products by using methods such as GPS, soil scanning and data management to determine precise actions needed to be taken. In other regions, like Sweden, they use it to monitor the welfare of animals. Here is a look at how technology provides a better quality of life for farm animals.
Smart Farming of Sows in Sweden
Sweden is one of the strictest countries in terms of animal welfare. That goes for any animals, including the ones living on a farm. One Swedish farm has decided to move on to Smart Farming methods to care for their pigs. They have fixed a sensor to sows ears which measures the heartbeat of the animal in real-time.
Christophe Verjus, an engineer at the Swiss Research and Development Organisation (CSEM) involved in the project says that it allows farmers to have access to very useful information. The heart rate measurement of the animal compared to its regular rate will enable its owner to know if the animal has a fever, if she is sick or even if she is stressed.
Some may say that a farmer would come to that conclusion without the technology, which is true, but not as fast. Thanks to these data, the farmer will discover the problem before any visible symptoms are shown by the animal. That will enable him to take the necessary decision rapidly to cure and save the animal.
Monitoring sows’ welfare during farrowing
On a sow’s farm, the most important period is when they give birth to their litter. During that time, it is crucial that the mothers remain in good health so that they can take care of their babies. With Smart Farming, an alert system informs them if something needs to be done for one of the animals and they can react immediately.
It is particularly important for the farmers to be aware when the sow starts farrowing. It helps them to get ready for what they will need to do the next day. All this information is directed to an electronic terminal located inside the farm, which works as a gateway. It also measures air quality and temperature to provide a better environment for the animals.
According to the co-ordinator of the Swedish project, this new technology is a big leap forward for the industry. He emphasizes that each animal is very important and has its own right of welfare. Hopefully these methods will be adopted more largely by European farmers in the years to come.