Pig farming is an important industry in agriculture and the leading industry of animal husbandry. It plays an important role in ensuring the safe supply of meat and food. The development of pig farming is very important. It not only plays an important role in the national social economy, but also is closely related to the national life. In recent years, the production of large-scale pig raising equipment has developed rapidly. The development of pig raising equipment has prompted pig producers to complete the transformation from family sideline type to large-scale professional type and then to factory social type, making pig raising a link in the production chain of an independent industry. In order to maximize the benefits, a large number of large and medium-sized pig farms have adopted modern feeding equipment in pig farms, which is of positive significance to promote the progress of pig raising industry and the development of productivity.
From the development history of domestic and foreign pig industry in recent years, feeding equipment in pig farms mainly includes limited fields, Gestalt feeding system and electronic feeding station. Based on the different feeding modes of sows, the corresponding supporting equipment is not the same. At the same time, it will also affect the health of sows and the production performance such as the average number of weaned piglets per year to a certain extent.
1.1 limit column（feeding equipment in pig farms）
Sow limit fence is the product of the rise of industrialized pig raising in the 1980s. The original intention of setting the limit bar for sows is to carry out precise management and flow operation for individual sows in the intensive production process of the pig industry, so as to obtain the maximum benefit. Now many countries still use this feeding mode. The biggest advantage of the limit bar feeding technology is that it can feed a single pig, and the supporting equipment is simple in structure, convenient for feeding equipment in pig farms, conducive to disease prevention and control, effectively reducing the work intensity of the breeders, and has the advantages of saving space (the length and width of the limit bar of each sow are 2.1 m and 0.6 m respectively), high land use rate and low investment cost. After more than 30 years of practice, The feeding technology of the limit bar has gradually revealed its disadvantages. This feeding mode has brought great harm to sows, which makes the production performance and physique of sows decline, the utilization life is shortened, and the death elimination rate is increased. Due to the lack of exercise, the limit fed sows have poor cardiopulmonary function, unsynchronized bone and muscle development, serious hoof injury and reduced reproductive performance, which have a great impact on the welfare and health of sows. The limit fed sows also lead to an increase in the proportion of invisible estrus of sows and a decrease in the conception rate of sows, which increases the difficulty of feeding management and reduces economic benefits.
1.2 “Gestalt” feeding system（feeding equipment in pig farms）
From the perspective of improving the reproductive ability of sows, as long as the feeding equipment in pig farms technology of sows is scientifically and reasonably applied, the production performance of sows can also reach a satisfactory level under the condition of feeding with a limit bar. In order to further realize automatic feeding on the basis of individual feeding of pigs, some research institutions and commercial companies in the livestock industry began to develop an automatic feeding equipment in pig farms system based on the limit bar feeding mode. The “Gestalt ‘intelligent breeding sow feeding management system” developed by Canada jyga company is a kind of intelligent breeding sow feeding equipment in pig farms system developed on the basis of the limit bar
The feeding system does not need to change the structure of the pig house of the limit bar. It is applicable to pregnant sows, as well as piglets, delivery room sows and finishing pigs. It can realize fine feeding management at all stages of breeding sows. According to the pre-set feeding plan of sows in the breeding room, the system can adjust the feeding situation of sows in time through digital analysis and management, ensure the normal body condition of lactating sows, maximize the dynamic nutritional needs of delivery sows, and improve the litter rate and litter size per litter. In this way, it is very important for the sows to wean and estrus in time, reduce the number of days of production and start the next birth.
The whole feeding equipment in pig farms system will record and analyze the feeding behavior of sows through electronic sensors installed at the bottom of the feeding trough, and intelligently control the feeding amount of sows. When the sow wants to eat, it will reflexively lick at the bottom of the trough, thus touching the electronic sensor. The electronic sensor automatically collects the frequency and times of the hogging of the sow, analyzes the intensity of the feeding desire of the sow, and determines the feeding amount to the sow in combination with the rated feeding amount of the sow at the physiological stage and the feeding period set by the system. So as to ensure the accurate control of feed intake of sows and the accurate feeding in different time periods according to the body condition and physiological stage of sows. Under the principle of “eat less and eat more”, sows interact with the intelligent management system according to their own feeding habits and wishes. Feeding is carried out without too much restriction. This intelligent and accurate monomer feeding management system can not only ensure the feed intake of lactating sows, but also ensure that each feed intake is fresh feed, so as to realize the scientific and reasonable regulation of the feed intake of sows, thus ensuring the maximum lactation of lactating sows and improving the weaning weight and survival rate of suckling pigs; At the same time, the digital management mode also provides a convenient and fast way for the management and breeding of breeding pigs. It is necessary to not only maintain the reproductive performance of the next litter of sows, but also reduce the non productive days of sows, tap and release the maximum productive potential of sows, and improve the overall production level of sows.
1.3 electronic feeding station（feeding equipment in pig farms）
In the late 1970s, the first electronic feeding station for sows was born in the Netherlands. Subsequently, Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden and other countries successively introduced this technology. This set of intelligent precise feeding system for sows has broken the pig raising mode in the limit bar, and created a new and efficient intelligent welfare pig raising mode. Large groups of sows are raised in a circle, and the precise feeding of individual sows can be achieved. When the sow enters the feeding station, the automatic feeding device in the feeding area will automatically scan the RFID electronic ear tag of the sow to identify the individual sow. According to the information in the database, determine the gestation days of the current sow, and timely measure its real-time body condition and environmental temperature. Calculate the feed intake of the sow on that day through the corresponding mathematical model, and the feeding equipment will automatically put the corresponding feed amount, so as to achieve accurate feeding. In the process of group feeding, ESF can also automatically separate the sows from the pig herd through different door holes, such as the sows that need to undergo pregnancy inspection and transfer to the delivery room, so as to reduce the situation that the production efficiency of the pig herd is reduced due to inadequate manual management. The feeding management of the feeding station tries to eliminate the harm of the feeding equipment in pig farms personnel to the animals in the process of human and animal contact, and reduce the external stress to the pigs. ESF equips estrus sows with estrus test boars and installs estrus automatic monitoring device. When the sows are in estrus, they will move to the estrus inducing area of the boar and make head-to-head contact with the boars in the estrus inducing area through a visiting hole on the estrus automatic monitoring device. At the same time, the estrus monitoring device will scan the ear marks of sows, record the starting time and frequency of contact between sows and boars, This information generates an oestrus index graph. When the curve reaches the preset estrus threshold, the system will accurately identify special individuals (e.g. estrus sows, return estrus sows, etc.) and automatically isolate them during feeding, and timely remind the feeding management personnel to manually identify the estrus of the sow, so as to reduce the workload of human observation and subjective error. This estrus identification mode set according to the natural behavior habits and physiological laws of sows is quite ingenious, giving full play to the initiative of digital breeding information management, avoiding excessive interference from the outside world to sows, and ensuring the pregnancy rate of sows. The use of ESF makes it possible to raise sows in groups, liberates sows from the narrow space of the limit bar, reduces the occurrence of various behaviors and habits of sows, and improves the production performance of sows. Pigs are gregarious animals. The group feeding mode can effectively ensure the communication between pigs and the expression of their natural behavior. Compared with the sows raised in the limit bar, the sows raised in the ESF group had higher birth rate, and the birth weight and weaning weight of piglets were significantly increased. Compared with the sows raised in the limit bar, the sows raised in the group showed more rest behaviors (P < 0.01), the incidence of stereotyped behaviors decreased (P < 0.01), and the empty chewing behavior decreased (P < 0.01). Compared with artificial fillers, the automatic feeding equipment in pig farms system improves the aggressive behavior of pigs, and the fighting behavior of pigs will seriously affect the production performance and reproductive ability of pigs.
With the development of science and technology and the improvement of economic level, the development level of animal husbandry productivity will gradually rise, and the adoption of advanced animal husbandry production equipment will become an inevitable choice. Intelligent feeding equipment in pig farms has begun to get the attention of modern pig farms, and has a certain development trend.
2.1 standardized, modular and supporting feeding equipment in pig farms
As the scale of the pig industry becomes larger and larger, its homogeneity will become stronger. Animal husbandry industry standards will also give birth to large-scale feeding equipment with industry standards, and then gradually evolve a fixed equipment process mode and develop modular feeding equipment. Through assembly, integration and other means, the supporting facilities or equipment systems adapted to different regions, different climates and different environments are integrated.
2.2 combination of feeding equipment in pig farms and animal welfare
The production performance and use efficiency of breeding and feeding equipment in pig farms largely depend on whether the design of breeding and feeding equipment meets the characteristics of animal growth and development and meets the needs of animal life habits, which requires that breeding and feeding equipment pay more attention to the “use experience” of animals. At present, the large-scale feeding equipment in pig farms in our country mostly stay at the level of simply pursuing the maximum production of sows, and rarely consider the issue of animal welfare. This not only excessively squeezed the productivity of pigs, shortened the production life of pigs, and made them obsolete too early; At the same time, it will also affect the muscle health of growing finishing pigs and ultimately affect the quality of pork. If the characteristics of combining breeding and feeding equipment in pig farms with animal welfare can be used, in the process of promoting the large-scale breeding industry, the concept of animal welfare can be spread through the use of breeding and feeding equipment in pig farms to promote the development of the pig industry in the direction of animal welfare.
2.3 energy saving and environment-friendly feeding equipment in pig farms
At the same time, the rapid economic development is also burdened with heavy pressure of high energy consumption and environmental pollution, which is more serious in the livestock industry, because large-scale pig breeding will consume a large amount of water and power resources, and animal feces will also threaten the surrounding environment. In order to save water, the design process of flushing feces with water should be reduced in the breeding equipment, and the method of manual fecal cleaning or water soaking feces or the combination of the two should be changed; In order to save energy, we should research and develop economical and practical local temperature control technology to change the traditional cooling or heating mode of pig houses and realize low energy consumption of pig farms; In order to reduce the feed residue in the pig feces and reduce the waste of feed, the future intelligent feeding equipment should not only work hard to reduce energy consumption, but also improve the feed intake rate of pigs from the perspective of fine breeding of pigs, so as to improve the utilization rate and conversion rate of feed, and finally promote the sustainable development of animal husbandry by means of breeding machinery and equipment engineering technology.