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Electronic Sow Feeding System is the best alternative to keeping sows in conventional gestation crates which allows freedom of movement in group housing, guarantees true individual nutrition and – in addition, provides a most valuable management tool for the breeder.

Big Dutchman’s electronic sow feeding system CallMatic 2 is the most advanced automatic feeding system for sows kept in groups (pen gestation) opposed to gestation crates. It not only allows group housing but at the same time provides true individual animal nutrition.

Why group housing?

    • Growing concern for animal welfare, demanding that sows are no longer confined to gestation stalls, will be turning into legislation all over the world
    • It allows the sows freedom of movement, social interaction and much more comfort
    • With proper management, sows enjoy better health and robustness and will thus show excellent performance

HOW IT WORKS

Basic Setup

CallMatic 2 filling systems:
Each feeding station is equipped with one feed hopper per feed type (max. 2). The hoppers are filled from the respective silos by means of flexible auger systems or chain and disk feeding systems.

Basic principle of operation

Light Barrier:

A sow may enter the station when the entrance door is open, and as she passes a light barrier, the entrance door is shut behind her automatically

Radio Frequency Identification:

The sow is identified at the trough through the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) ear tag.

Feeding:

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If the sow is entitled to feed, the flap covering the trough opens and small feed portions are dispensed into the trough until she has eaten her total ration or until she leaves on her own. She can then pick up her remaining ration at another visit.

Feed trough made of stainless steel with open/closed flap.

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If the identified sow is not entitled to feed (because she has already eaten her complete ration), the trough flap stays shut and the entrance door is reopened, allowing the next sow to enter and can urge out the sow in the station

HEAT DETECTION

A heat detection unit can be installed within the gestation barn adjacent to the boar pen.

The unit records the female’s interest in the boar every time she visits him at the round boar window. If the unit counts a given number of visits per day, the software will show the sow to be “in heat”.

A sow in heat can be color marked directly at the heat detection unit or she can be selected during her next visit to the feeding station.

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Sow visiting boar at heat detection unit adjacent to boar pen

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Boar with window to sow area

CONTROL SYSTEM

State-of-the-art computer technology for modern sow management

User Friendly Control System:

Big Dutchman’s newly developed control system for the CallMatic 2 ESF system allows direct access to all data at each station! Every station controller is able to independently manage an ESF station. At the same time, all connected ESF stations can be centrally monitored, and visualized in real-time at a central PC. Adjustments may either be done at the central PC in the office or at the controller of the ESF station itself.

Since all controllers are equipped with their own data memory and are connected with one another, the feed stations remain operational even if the central PC should fail to work for any reason.

The station computer has a clearly arranged display and shows important information such as the number of visits to the station, the amount of feed consumed or the current status of the identified sow.

SELECTING SOWS

Selecting and Marking of sows

CallMatic 2 will take over sow management functions such as selecting and separating sows from the group.

Reasons for selection can be, for example, to check or treat animals or to have them leave the group. The various reasons are defined and controlled by the CallMatic software.

Selection can be carried out in 3 different ways:

    • by selecting animals into selection zone without color marking
    • by selecting animals into selection zone with color marking
    • by color marking the animals without separating them from the group

Barn with central aisle used as selecting zone.

Selection Unit:

    • When using the CallMatic selection unit (optional), the sows can be selected into a separate selection pen or into the central aisle.
    • By shutting aisle gates, sows from different groups will not get mixed up.
    • The animals can then be checked and/or treated and released back into their groups.

Procedure:

  1. After identification at the trough, the sow will receive feed like usual but at the same time, the selection gate will swing to the other side, opening the way out to the selection pen or isle
  2. The entrance door will not open for the next sow to enter until the selected sow has left the station and the selection gate has swung back into its normal position
  3. At the time of selection, sows can also be color-marked with one of 3 colors in the spray marker. Then, if you are selecting sows for different reasons the same day, you will easily identify the reason for selection by the 3 colors (or no color) on the sow
  4. Color marking can also be used to reveal sows, which have lost their ear tag or could not be identified for some reason

CallMatic spray marker on feeding station:

If a heat detection unit has been installed in the barn, sows that have been recognized as being in heat can also be color marked directly at the heat detection unit.

FEEDING STATIONS

Callmatic 2 Advantages:

    • Direct access to ALL data at each station!
    • Very robust feeding station
    • Solid side partitions allow undisturbed feed intake and are removable for emergency opening
    • Stations can be customized to fit individual requirements
    • A shutter flap on the trough helps train and guide sows to moliva or leave the station
    • Manual operation of feed station at any time
    • Very precise feed metering
    • Two hoppers per station for 2 different diets
    • Mineral dispenser for additives
    • Color-marking unit with up to 3 colors
    • Automatic selection
    • Hmoliva detection
    • All metal parts, located close to or on the floor, are made of stainless steel to protect against corrosion