At Eurotier, the Pig Cough Monitor was presented to the broad public. The pig cough monitor is a device that continuously monitors the occurrence of coughing in a compartment of pigs by automated analysis of sounds recorded in the pig house.
[source: Fancom BV]
With this innovation, a continuous observation of the respiratory health status of pigs becomes possible. The system consists of a control with special analysing software and a microphone installed in the section. This sound is filtered to distinguish general sounds from pigs coughing and alarms are raised when thresholds are exceeded. This information is graphically presented to the end-user in the FarmManager management software.
With this continuous and automatic observation, respiratory disease can be identified in an early stage. Improved and faster observation of the animals reduces the use of antibiotics, for shorter periods to less animals. A reduction in the use of antibiotics is healthier for both pigs and humans. Healthy animals will perform better, leading to more consistent growth, end weight and greater profit.
The sound analysis is part of a larger system that is still under development, using new sensor technology such as cameras and microphones to measure animal welfare in an objective way. Information from these measurements combined with the data from the climate and feed controllers generates an objective assessment of the actual welfare of the animals by means of an automatic welfare monitor.
Management tool for veterinarians
Apart from the obvious financial benefit the system also gives Veterinarians the ability to meet the challenge of continuously providing more detailed information about current threats. Not only can they consult in a quick and economic way, they can also compare the results of different farms and manage the threat of a wider spread infection within their region.