Improving pig system performance through a whole system approach (PigSys)

Last changed: 12 January 2018

Current EU pig production has suboptimal resource utilisation, resulting in unnecessarily high emissions and wastes. This has much to do with outdated building standards, control systems and barn management approaches. At the same time animal welfare is of increasing concern, farmers are struggling to maintain economic competitiveness and the public image of the sector is poor.

PigSys will address these issues by the adoption of a multi-disciplinary, system level approach to pig production systems. A system model of mass and energy flows and Decision Support System, as well as novel building climate control systems, will be developed to underpin a sustainable improvement in system performance. By taking a cross-scale, multi-disciplinary approach, the project will ensure that all aspects relevant for the development of sustainable, socially acceptable and economically viable pig production systems are adequately addressed.

Department of biosystems and technology (BT) will lead the research on NH3 emission concerning pig behaviour and pen fouling. Methods for cooling the pigs, including showering and convective cooling, will be tested on a commercial farm. Comparative measurements of NH3 emission, environmental parameters and pig behaviour will be made and the mitigation potential of the control systems based on pig behaviour detection developed in PigSys will be tested. BT will contribute in the activities of data mining, LCA assessment, engagement and dissemination to stakeholders, and project management activities.

Facts:

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