In animal husbandry light has a large influence on behaviour, health, growth and therefore welfare of the animals. We aim to increase fundamental knowledge on light for pigs, and to develop adaptive light concepts to contribute to sustainable pig production.
Current pig production faces the challenge to improve animal welfare (including health) and to reduce its environmental impact, without compromising profitability. In animal husbandry light has a large influence on behaviour, health, growth and therefore welfare of the animals. Up till now, artificial light has been largely ignored in the search for smart solutions for sustainable pig production systems.
Light affects daily rhythms and it is already proven that light can increase production. New insights in animal welfare strongly indicate that light may also improve natural behaviour and moods, and potentially reduce the environmental impact.
In this project we will collect fundamental knowledge on the impact of light on pigs. The focus will be on light factors that are most beneficial for pig welfare, environment and profitability; such as light intensity and colour spectrum. In addition we want to develop innovative concepts to use light, together with sensor technology, to improve animal welfare and economic performance. At the same time decreasing the environmental impact and contributing to sustainable pig production.
The project is part of a research cooperation consisting of Dutch experts and leading companies in the area of sustainable pig husbandry, animal welfare and smart sensor and light systems, funded by the NWO-ENW program "Smart solutions for horti- and agriculture". The project is expected to provide an innovative light concept for the pig industry with controlled and tuneable lighting, which easily integrates with standard monitoring systems and contributes to a more sustainable production of pork.