A production system’s success or failure can be measured by several important parameters that typically include average daily gain, feed efficiency, income over feed costs, mortalities, morbidities, treatment costs, water usage, and a host of other factors. Production systems dedicate quarterly and annual meetings evaluating these parameters to determine feed costs, treatment protocols, and housing of pigs to ensure every pig is efficient as possible. How important data will be collected and how to ensure accessibility for future analysis are important decisions that should be made by production systems.
This article will highlight why structured data is essential for pig production systems and how EveryPig® can help.
We’ve all been there – we’ve taken the paper barn sheets with us from the barn, set them on the passenger seat of our vehicle, and then brought them inside the office to input the data into Excel. Or we’ve filled out a monthly visit form, listed our recommendations into bullet points, and then left them in the office of a production site. Then we spend time that evening putting together an electronic form of what was left in the site office.
We also have to consider that each manager or worker fills out the chore sheets differently, so translating this also takes time. Unfortunately, it is a fact that there are managers or workers who fail to fill out the paperwork.
The bottom line is: we are spending time and effort on these chore sheets, encoding the data into Excel, and filling out paperwork. And why do we do it? Because it is necessary for the production system. The data allows us to track every barn’s productivity and compare it to other pig flows or genetic lines. A production system needs this data if they are going to consider a new feeding system, new treatment protocols, or determine where time should be spent to increase earnings at the packer. However, this system of data gathering only allows retrospective evaluation of the farm’s productivity standards. One flaw of this system is that any problem with a flow of pigs, be it with mortalities, water usage, or diet formulation can quickly turn into an all-hands-on-deck issue. If the production system is trying to be proactive with their pig flows, this paper system and then manual input of the data may not be the best practice.
EveryPig’s Digital Barn Sheets is a program that offers a more efficient process of data gathering and consolidation. Data from chore sheets are uploaded immediately which allows a production company to track data in real-time, instead of retrospectively. The program also shows the trends over time. Data in the Digital Barn Sheets can easily be exported through Excel or shared with other parties (like auditing companies). With the convenience that the program offers, workers are more likely to get the work of entering data done.
Another important benefit of Digital Barn Sheets is that anyone can access the data from anywhere. Any production staff with a smart device can access Digital Barn Sheets, taking away the time spent waiting on data input and analysis through Excel. A production system could also use Digital Barn Sheets in tandem with other smart device programs through EveryPig’s Integrations Program. Integrations allows users to put all data from various management programs to be accessed in one location. Using Integrations to sync other management programs with EveryPig® will require you to contact the EveryPig® support team, but it is something to consider. These options highlight how EveryPig® can only make your life easier.
Regardless of how your production system chooses to log and record data, every barn needs productivity measures. These measures help establish feed costs, improve feed efficiency, pinpoint costs associated with each barn, and identify what health problems affect the production system. Your production system can choose to collect data the traditional way, that is on paper or through Excel, or you can enlist the help of EveryPig® to modernize the process and help your company save time, effort, and money while improving production efficiency and performance.