Integration of low-cost technologies for real-time monitoring of pigs in pre-fattening stage
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Measurement of environmental, behavioural, and physiological variables is essential for decision making in intensive animal production systems. Data collection and analysis, in real time, employing low-cost tools are fundamental to increase competitiveness and animal wellness. In this context, the goal of this research was to develop a low-cost measurement system for monitoring bioclimatic and behavioural parameters in the production of pigs in the pre-fattening stage. Internet of things technologies was employed in order to increase control over the production and as a tool for decision-making in real time. Sensor Networks were developed using low-cost sensors open-source platforms and code. The system was validated in a pig farm located in Antioquia-Colombia with two groups of 10 pigs in the pre-fattening stage. Parallel tests with three sequential repetitions were carried out. The system was validated through continuous environmental data collection and periodic physiological measurements. The developed system includes temperature, relative humidity, global radiation, wind speed, pressure, and lighting sensors. A high microclimatic variability was found inside the facilities, presenting thermal discomfort conditions in some hours of the day, which impacted the development and behaviour of the animals. The adaptation of low-cost technologies for real-time monitoring of pigs is viable and facilitate decision-making in real time improving the productive efficiency, supplying important information at a productive and scientific level.