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"Cost savings with Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding really saved our bacon "

Vincent Rincé (France)

As soon as you get past the suburbs of Paris heading out west along the motorway, there are four hours of nothing but countryside, a green, rolling landscape of cows and chateaux. Not far from the Atlantic coast, in the middle of an area best known for cattle farming, you will find the Le Chanteloup cooperative. Located along a road you can 't find without GPS is a modern sow farm that is ready for the future " not least thanks to Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding stations.

Vincent Rincé is the farm manager at Chanteloup, which, with its two sheds holding 300 sows, is among the biggest sow farms in France and "definitely the nicest ", as Rincé proudly describes it. The farm has been operating in its present form since 2009. Four independent pig farms across the region decided to merge and build brand-new buildings. Besides the economies of scale there was one other major advantage: they were able to meet the 2013 standards for group housing straight away.

  Advantage
Chanteloup is completely ready for 2013: "We are lucky in that we built new buildings two years ago. So we were already at an advantage, but people having to invest now for 2013 are finding it difficult. Some of them could go out of business, " Rincé fears. The modern installations are therefore a result for Chanteloup.

With regard to the downsides of the ESF system, after some prompting the farm manager admits: "We are already talking about the third generation ESF and 20 years ' experience. But behind every machine there is ultimately a person. So the only weak link is us ourselves. " Does nothing really ever go wrong? "The only part we have to replace occasionally is this, " Rincé says, laughing and pointing to the spring that keeps the gates closed.

Variation
For Rincé and his team, every day is different. "We start feeding at around 7 in the morning. When we get new sows, we vaccinate them at about 9. Then we get on with cleaning, and a new feeding cycle starts in the afternoon. But not before the team enjoys a good hot lunch themselves " a tradition that is still very much alive in the French countryside.

Cost savings
Now that raw material prices are up and pig prices are down, it is important to manage costs very carefully. Rincé: "With the Electronic Sow Feeding stations we can give the sows individual portions, depending on what stage they are at. That way we optimise our use of feed. " There is another major advantage of using the ESF. "These days it takes six people to do work that used to take nine. That saves us a lot of money " and has really saved our bacon. "

 Group housing with Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding  Group housing with Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding

Welfare
Although returns are important, your bottom line also benefits from better welfare for the pigs, says Vincent Rincé. "We can pay more attention to the sows now. We notice when a sow is not herself or sick much sooner. They run around among each other, there is less quarrelling, and that 's not only much less stressful for the pigs but for us too. "

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