Idento supplies two feed measuring systems for livestock farming: The Roughage Intake Control (RIC) system for dairy cattle, and the Individual feed intake recording of pigs in group housing (IVOG) system for pigs. The implementation of the two systems appears at first glance to differ significantly, but that has more to do with the differences in body structure and feeding behaviour between pigs and cattle.
The underlying principle for both types of equipment is identical, however. There is a free-hanging feed trough in the middle of each side, resting on either one or two load cells, depending on the version. The load cell measures the weight of the feed in the trough before, during and after feeding, with an accuracy of either 10 or 100 grams, depending on the application. There is a structure around the feed trough with a port that gives the animal access to the trough.
Each animal carries a transponder so that the equipment knows exactly whether it may feed, and if so allows it access to a feed trough. The correct amount of feed for each animal can be placed in the trough. The port closes once the animal has eaten the amount of feed provided, or if it stops eating.
Collecting the feed and drink data enables institutions to investigate the effects of feed on, for example, weight gain, milk yield or the fat content of the milk, which means that feed can be optimised. Also investigated is what type and quantity of locally available feed gives the best results in raising livestock.