In one wink a clear overview of which sow belongs to which group? This sounds like utopia. At Swine Innovation Centre (SIC) Sterksel we’ve arranged this. After insemination the sow cards are directly printed on coloured paper, so in a wink it’s clear to which mating group a sow belongs. At SIC Sterksel, working with a three week production system, 7 colours are used to mention the different groups. Directly after insemination, when sows are entering the gestation housing, the cards are printed. Every group on a different colour paper.
By showing the sow cards per group (for example in a transparent map at the door of a room) in one wink it’s clear which sows need to be scanned (3 or 5 weeks after insemination), which sows needs extra heat control, which sows need to be vaccinated and which sows need to be moved to the farrowing houses. The colour of the group is also showed on the outside of a room (in a clicking list on the door). “Working with the coloured sow cards gives me a clear overview and reduces the chance on mistakes”, although Theo Smits, at SIC Sterksel responsible for the gestating sows. This is even also in farrowing houses. When for example a foster sow is made, you can directly see this by the colour of the card.
By printing the sow cards directly after insemination, only one colour should be chosen per group. There can also be chosen for a white sow card, fixed with coloured (clothes) pins. Coloured pins although gives more chance on mistakes compared to coloured paper. Pick colours where black is printed on clearly (light colours). With a multi week production system once in the –for example– three weeks can be printed. With a week production system printing is needed weekly. Not necessarily 21 colours are needed. 7 should be enough to make a difference between groups. After 7 weeks can be started over with the first colour.