Automatic birth monitoring with SowCam
One of the trendsetting Big Dutchman innovations at EuroTier 2010 is the new SowCam system for automatic birth monitoring of sows in the farrowing pen. This is made possible by combining a standard webcam installed above the farrowing pen and special PC software: the video material recorded by the webcam is continuously checked and intelligently analysed by a new Big Dutchman software. The result is a completely new management tool which not only automatically recognizes the beginning of the farrowing process and counts the number of born piglets, but also records the time span between the individual piglet births and transmits a warning message onto a mobile phone if too much time passes between the births. Via online access, the farm manager is immediately able to watch live pictures directly from the farrowing pen and can thus decide whether his interaction is required, all without having to enter the house.
This new birth monitoring system has been developed to minimize piglet losses. SowCam can furthermore help to reduce working hours: especially in case of young gilts and if sows give birth prematurely the farm manager no longer has to be present for the entire time to monitor the farrowing process. This means it is quieter in the house and the farm manager saves valuable time for other activities. Important data can be saved permanently and can thus act as management criteria for the selection of sows.