Hikvision cameras help farmers with livestock

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Deviating on a surprising vertical away from pure security surveillance, Hikvision has worked with farm management solutions provider Skov to bring the art of weighing pigs into the 21st Century, with the help of mini-dome cameras and a bespoke VMS system.

Part of managing a piggery is to ensure that each pig is able to grow to its full potential. The average weight of a pig at market is around 275 lbs, but keeping an eye on the weight of individual animals can be tricky. If a pig is smaller than its pen-mates, it is likely to be pushed away when it comes to feeding time. This means it will not grow to its full size. In this situation, pig farmers may move the smaller pigs into a separate pen, so they can get to the food and ‘catch up’ with their larger brothers and sisters.

But how do you weigh a pig? Traditional methods involved a tape measure and many hands…. and were, of course, very time consuming to complete. And that was without the maths part at the end! Later methods saw farmers installing weighing apparatus, which was costly, and also time consuming with handlers needing to ‘persuade’ individual pigs onto the scales. Another issue with this system was that accuracy could be affected, as it was hard to tell if the scales had just one pig on them.

Enter a whole new innovative solution, using Hikvision cameras and a specially designed Skov VMS. After testing various cameras, Skov approached Hikvision because of the competitive price and clear, reliable pictures even at only 2MP resolution. That, combined with the ability to build a firmware specifically for their needs, persuaded Skov to work with Hikvision.

Between four and eight 2-line mini-dome cameras (DS-2CD2142FWD-I (4mm)) are placed in the pigpens, to allow handlers to see what’s going on and to monitor the growth progress of the pigs. These specific cameras were chosen because of the low amount of spare space in a pigpen and the importance of an affordable solution.

The success of the project in Denmark means it can be replicated all over the world to help piggeries to manage their pigs and make sure they maximise their potential. Skov is offering the solution to all regions with piggeries, including in Thailand, where they have a subsidiary. “The cameras are integrated and working as expected, so we can look to the future”, says Kasper Rønn Christensen. “We are really impressed with the way Hikvision adapted their firmware to our needs. I also love the innovative approach. Hikvision’s ecosystem partner programme allows easy software and hardware integration so that end users can benefit from an innovative and more powerful complete solution.”