New pig calculator
Accurately judging the weight of an animal is a valuable skill achieved through years of practice.
Put those years of practice into a mathematical-statistical computing programme, point a camera at the animal, and it will tell the weight consistently.
The idea has won two EuroTier gold medals for German company Holscher and Leuschner. Its optiCOW 3D measuring of dairy cows functions completely automatically, identifying each cow through RFID technology, estimating its weight, but also its body condition score.
By measuring this score over the year, a dairy farmer can ensure dry cows are maintained in the proper condition to minimise health problems around the times of calving and breeding.
Cows calved at condition score 3.0 have produced almost one gallon per day more milk than cows calving at body condition score 2.6, over the first eight weeks of lactation, in trials.
Cows with a score less than 2.5 had a pregnancy rate after 42 days of only 50%, compared with a pregnancy rate of 66% for cows with CS over 3.
By measuring body condition score, optiCOW provides the farmer with the precise information on health status and physical condition needed to maximise milk yield.
Holscher and Leuschner’s gold medal-winning OptiScan mobile pig weighing system cuts out the strenuous and time-consuming weighing of fattening pigs. It’s no longer necessary, say the manufacturers, because of the accurate three-dimensional camera technology of its OptiScan mobile weighing system.
The hand-held camera unit is held over the fattening pig for three seconds, at a distance regulated by the camera itself, depending on size of the pig. It determines the weight of the fattening pig digitally, allows more precise, weight-related marketing; faster and more animal-friendly weighing; without all the work and cost involved in conventional weighing, such as cleaning passages and weighing platforms.