Feeding system automates collection of performance data of small pigs

SaFIRE Pig Feeder

November 16, 2021 – Advancements in farm technology over the past several decades has led to the development of several automated feeding and weighing systems, including those that automatically monitor individual animal performance. The information collected by these systems has provided critical data for genetic, feed, and pharmaceutical research while mimicking real-world production. Until now, however, these systems were only available for finishing animals (> 50 lbs./22 kg).

Understanding the correlation between individual animal performance at a young age and performance in the finishing cycle has been lacking within the industry for decades. Historically, methods of testing young, nursery-sized animals have involved individually isolating animals and manual, labor-intensive monitoring of performance characteristics affected by genetics, feed, pharmaceuticals, and other factors. These methods have often resulted in inaccurate and biased data collection.

SaFIRE FeederThe all new SaFIRE system by Osborne is the world’s first automated performance testing system for nursery animals. SaFIRE harnesses the trusted technology of the industry-leading FIRE (Feed Intake Recording Equipment) system, pioneered by Osborne during the rapid expansion of farm technology at the end of the last century, by means of original research and collaboration among researchers, universities, and genetics companies. Completely automated data collection with SaFIRE for the first time eliminates manual testing methods and provides access to real-world, commercially-simulated data.

With SaFIRE, geneticists and researchers now have the ability to reliably and accurately identify the effects of various factors on the performance of small animals. Testing genetics, nutrition and diets, non-traditional feedstuffs, and the effects of various management protocols can be done reliably with SaFIRE. RFID (radio frequency identification) technology identifies individual animals at the single-space, ad libitum feeding station and automatically collects valuable data including feed intake, time and duration of eating events, body weight, ADG, and feed conversion.

The data collected with SaFIRE is available instantly for sound genetic research and management decisions with the WinFIRE RT software application. Changes in health status or growth can quickly be identified with the application’s real-time monitoring capabilities.

Beta tested at several universities across the U.S., the accuracy of the SaFIRE feed intake recording system has been confirmed, giving researchers confidence in making genetic selections and management decisions for individual animals or groups of animals. For more information on the SaFIRE system, visit www.osbornelivestockequipment.com.