Sustainable precision livestock farming: a vision for the future of the Canadian swine industry
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Current feeding programs typically use a three-phase schedule, and feed for the nutritional requirements of the most demanding pig. The result is that most of the other pigs are being overfed and feed is wasted. Precision feeding would allow each pig to be fed their individual nutrient requirements
instead. In order to use precision feeding, the precise nutritional value of feed would need to be evaluated, as well as the nutritional requirements for each pig. The pig requirements could be determined by mathematical models of requirements and growth rate, but the ultimate goal would be to calculate exact requirements from individual data and previous growth rates when a pig inserts its head into a feeder. Instead of three-phase feeding, blend feeding could be used to mix the exact diet for a pig. Currently, advancements in feeding technology and computer software are needed in order for precision feeding to become a reality. Once the developments have been made, precision feeding will be able to provide environmental, production, and economical benefits for the producer.