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Biology Articles » Agriculture » Animal Production » A system that makes the work of animal farming easier

A system that makes the work of animal farming easier

The INKOA company has devised an intelligent system for the electronic identification of animals which eliminates the errors of current systems for animal and meat product identification. The new technology enables the automation of on-line processes in animal husbandry, abbatoirs, quartering plants and in the meat industry in general.

The electronic ID of animals, IDELAN, allows the automated control and management of animal farming and of the meat industry, based on the automatic reception of information on animals and meat products. This provides an advantage over current operations, apart from enhanced safety and rapidity, in terms of the availability of information and of the automation of the processes based thereon.

These systems, based on microelectronic technology, provide an integral identification system which is permanent, accurate and safe, and which allows the identification of the animal throughout the production chain and control points. The system is integrated with electronic identifiers (transponders such as, for example, a ruminal bolus, an auricular crotalum or a subcutaneous tag), lectors, software for data treatment and automation and control systems, with various applications, each one adapted to the specific needs of the customer.

Advantages of electronic identification
This technology eliminates errors in reading and transcription. It avoids the loss of information and facilitates the carrying out of controls. It accelerates the transmission of data and provides computerisation, control and automation of the animal farms and meat industries.

Also, all the information generated as a consequence of the IDELAN electronic identification system for automation and control can be visualised and managed via the Internet so that the end-user and the various organisations involved can access the information automatically and remotely.

Electronic tracing
The application of electronic identification throughout the production chain will enable the automatic retrieval of the life history of the meat products, from the animal farming stage to the meat product sales outlet stage.

The system developed by INKOA manages global data bases, which take into account and store the comings and goings during the life of the animal and its transformation into the end-product. Amongst this data is the sex, age, aptitude, registration date, batch number, herd code, the breed, buying and selling date, slaughter-house leave date, and so on - for each animal.

This technology involves various modules of management and automated control:
- In animal farming: classification by batches, automatic feed dosage, yield control, movement of animals amongst herds, automatic registration of the clinical and health history
- The abbatoir, rendering and distribution plant: automatic identification and classification of carcass pieces, control of storage and transport conditions, control of manufactured batches, and so on.

Various applications
This technology will facilitate tasks in many areas such as the automatic classification of animals, management of birth deliveries, feeding control, health campaigns, control of reproduction and artificial insemination and milk control.

The milk control system, for example, based on electronic identification, facilitates the control process and eliminates errors in the identification of animals and samples. This application enables the immediate identification of parameters such as: the increase in yield on a farm, detection of mamitis, the genetic evaluation of ancestors or the follow-up of samples taken and analyses made.

The application incorporates, moreover, a programme for the labelling of milk samples, thus allowing their identification and follow-up. This application is principally aimed at milk producers' associations plans for genetic improvements and at herd owners themselves for optimising milking and milk production.

Also, the automatic control of feeding automatically provides and doses the quantity of a determined diet for each animal, aimed at optimising yield. The various applications of the system are the following: applications for individual feeding, aimed at controlling weight and production yields and enabling the automatic establishment of a daily feeding hour, control of dosage or providing dosage throughout the day; batch feeding applications whereby, by means of either virtual or physical batches, a feed type and dosage is provided to each batch.

Elhuyar Fundazioa. May 2003.


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