Economic Advantages of Individual Animal Identification in Fattening Pigs

Henrich Thölke, Petra Wolf
2022 Agriculture  
Pig farmers are exposed to strong international competition and confronted with low revenues, while production requirements are increasing. Individual electronic monitoring allows for closer observation of the fattening process, which can be useful for identifying weaknesses in the production process and carrying out more targeted cost management. Consequently, this study aimed to demonstrate a reduction in unit production costs through individual animal identification (IAI) using
more » ... quency radio frequency identification (UHF RFID) transponder ear tags. For data collection, day-old suckling piglets were individually marked. During fattening, these piglets (n = 224) were kept in 16 groups (n = 14 in each). Individual body weights and the feed consumption for each pen were recorded until slaughtering. These data were used to perform three hypothetical selection scenarios at nine different times, retrospectively, by selecting individual animals that deviated downwards from the mean value of live weight by 10, 15, or 20%. For each group, two different calculations were performed to highlight potential savings. High potential savings of direct costs (up to EUR 4.56) for female animals and castrates (EUR 5.44) were shown. Nevertheless, costs of individual data collection were EUR 4.06 per pig, and we found that IAI offers advantages for conventional fatteners for future fattening periods to work in an economically sustainable manner.
doi:10.3390/agriculture12020126 fatcat:psjbfrnkdffk7ltlzl7g2tdtsq