Pigs feel better with the right lighting in the stables. The Westford slaughterhouse in IJsselstein and pig farm De Hoeve BV in Valkenswaard are therefore investigating in their ‘Enlighted Pigs’ project how light can best be used for better animal welfare.
The project is in line with the government’s plans, which wants the Netherlands to be a leader in sustainable circular agriculture by 2030. This includes the reuse of waste, but also animal-friendly livestock farming.
Light affects mood
It is already known that light influences people’s productivity and mood. The influence of light on animal welfare, on the other hand, has been studied to a limited extent. In their project, the companies want to find out how factors such as intensity and color of light play a role in animal welfare, the environment and ultimately the operating result.
The companies want to develop a technique of stable lighting that is best for the animals. Ultimately, this lighting concept must be included in the standard monitoring system. This measures, among other things, the temperature and the air quality in the barn and then adjusts them for an optimal climate.
The companies work together with the Animal Production Systems chair group of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). This learning group focuses on sustainable livestock farming and animal welfare. The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) is funding the research.
The lighting systems used in the study come from Signify, formerly Philips Lighting. Signify also supplies smart sensors for lighting adjustment.
Pig farm De Hoeve BV
Pig company De Hoeve BV has carried out several projects in the field of sustainability. For example, in 2017 the company started a project to achieve an optimal stable climate. This investigation not only measures the temperature of the house, but also the CO2 and oxygen content and the presence of ammonia and particulate matter. Pig farmers can use this data to create a better environment for the animals.
The Mono Digester project started in 2016. The aim of that project was to realize an energy-neutral pig farm. With the mono fermenter, energy can be generated with manure from the pigs. Fresh manure is used for this, which also limits the development of methane.
New system uses drones to measure and model emissions
Farm data is a goldmine according to Eindhoven students