28 November 1997

Early warning from auto check on temperature

AUTOMATIC on-farm temperature recording for sows could soon be a reality.

Winner of VIVs silver award for new products was a transponder only 2.5cm (1in) long but capable of carrying a pigs ID number and measuring its temperature.

The transmitter can be implanted under a pigs skin and passes information to receivers in feeders or drinkers. "This allows accurate information to be passed to a central computer frequently, enabling producers to spot temperature changes more quickly and with zero labour requirement," said Hank Hofman director of electrical product manufacturers Insentec.

"Diseases such as classical swine fever could be spotted far earlier using this transponder.

"Temperature changes are also linked to the reproductive cycle and the transponder is accurate enough to record small changes in temperature and so establish the exact onset of oestrus," he said.