Caring for livestock comes with a lot of responsibility. Health, diets, and feed must be monitored to ensure that the pigs are thriving and to determine when they are suitable for market. If any of the herd does get sick, medicine dosage is determined by the animals weight. But responsibility isn’t always easy. Monitoring health means monitoring weight, which means you’ve got to convince 300 pound pigs or 8 lb piglets to get on a scale one at a time and hold relatively still while you take a reading. The engineers and designers here at Arlyn Scales have worked to create our Automatic Pig Sorter, which makes weighing livestock, recording data, and sorting your pigs into their proper pens a cinch.
Getting Pigs in the Proper Pen
Most pig barns consist of several different holding areas that are separated by fences and walkways. Pigs spend most of their time in the general holding area. When they’re hungry, they must walk down a pathway to the feeding area. Often there is more than one feeding area, each one featuring a special blend of feed based on the dietary needs of the pig and whether they need to gain weight faster, or more slowly Our pig sorter can be installed in this path so that the pigs have to walk through the sorter every time they want to eat. The sorter consists of a low-profile scale with swing gates at either end of the scale’s platform. You can choose how many swing gates you need based on how many feeding pens you have. The sorter can be programmed to open a single gate depending on the weight of the pig, which means they can exit in only one direction.
Getting Pigs Used to the Sorter: Training Mode
Our pig sorter features a training mode that helps get pigs used to walking across the scale’s platform, which can make them nervous at first. In the first stage of training, both the entry and exit gates are left open, which means the piglet walks through the sorter as though it wasn’t there. Once they are accustomed to walking over the platform, the second stage of training will close the entry gate after the pig enters the sorter. The exit gate remains open. As the pigs become accustomed to this gate closing, the sorter can be put into regular operation. The entry gate will close when the pig enters the weighing chamber, but the exit gate will not open until a weight has been taken. The sorter can be programmed with a target weight, which means the pig is only allowed to exit into the proper feeding pen when an accurate measurement has been taken. It is also possible to pre-set a time period that will open the exit gate if the animal is unusually feisty or panicked.
Accurate Measurements Despite Movement
Unlike corn or grain, pigs aren’t stationary. In fact, some of them can be pretty spirited, which poses the problem of getting accurate weight readings. However, the sorter was designed with pigs in mind. The scale has a capacity of 800 pounds while most pigs are ready for market at about 300 pounds. This means the scale won’t be damaged if someone’s been getting more than their fair share of grain or if he decides to throw his weight around while the gates are shut. Once the pig is comfortably enclosed in the sorter, the scale will take many readings each second. Using a sophisticated algorithm the scale can determine when it has calculated an accurate weight. It will eliminate readings that were taken while there was too much movement and average those readings taken with less movement. When an accurate weight has been achieved, the scale will record the measurement and open the gate to the proper feeding pen so the animal can leave. If the pig goes berserk and all it’s movements are violent, the scale will simply average all of the readings and after a preset amount of time, record the average and open the gate.
Easy Record Keeping
If your pig farm uses RFID ear tags, you’re in luck. If you choose, we can equip your sorter with RFID tag reading capability, which is accomplished through radio frequency. The tag number can be recorded with the measurement taken so you can automatically keep track of individual animals without harming them or having to pay attention to which pig is in the sorter at any given time. There are also several different ways to transmit data to your storage device. The sorter will record the data in internal memory. It also has the ability to send collected data directly to a website so you have easy access to your data from any computer or device. Wi-Fi allows you to monitor and control the sorter through your local network. We offer both wired and wireless options so that you can store, group, and analyze your data from a workstation PC or, if the network is set up to allow it, anywhere in the world.
Arlyn Scales is a leading designer and manufacturer of weighing solutions for a variety of industries. Smart Sort Innovation, a division of Arlyn Scales, designs and manufactures all of the sorter’s components including load cells, cages, and electronics, which means everything integrates perfectly. The automated pig sorter is the only practical way to reach the exact weight range on the right day, which means you’ll qualify more pigs for packer’s accurate weight bonuses. If you are interested in learning more about how our automated pig sorter can work for you and your farm, give us a call today at (800) 645-4301 or fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you quickly.