EU-PLF project partner, Fancom BV, organised workshops on the Visualisation Tool which have been developed by the company and used on the poultry and pig farms participating in the project.
A two-day training course were offered (17 and 18 November 2014), with the first day focusing on poultry farmers and the second day on pig farmers. The objectives of the courses were to facilitate and assist farmers who are participating in the EU-PLF project to better understand the tool and the importance of using the logbook of the tool.
The sensors (eYeNamic and Cough monitor) are both systems that do not provide a means to visualize the data being collected. To remedy this, Fancom, through the EU-PLF, project developed a tool for the farmers that allows them to actually “see” the data being collected by those sensors. The visualisation tool was also developed for the web allowing farmers to access it from anywhere in the world. The reason for the development of the visualization tool started with the thought that only when farmers are able to see the data, will they be able to use it to make better decisions to manage their farms and to increase the welfare of the animals.
At the moment there is a lot of data being collected by the visualization tool, several rounds per farm. But it can be difficult to interpret the data especially when farmers do not record in the logbook the activities that are taken place such as animal-related problems, management changes, or other events that could cause increased coughing or agitation among the animals. The importance of using the logbook to assist the researchers to better understand and interpret the data were highlighted. It was also emphasised that to improve the tool and to make it more effective, the farmers and researchers must work closely together and that it will be a continuous learning process for both.