In our effort to continue the pursuit of animal welfare, we decided to enlist Kevin Kurbis about the 5 Freedoms, which has been used as a guideline for many producers around the world.
A Brief History
5 Freedoms started back when the UK government in 1965, decided there needed to be a protocol for the welfare of animals. The Farm Animal Welfare Council then tweaked these 5 freedoms in the 70's.
The Five Freedoms
These freedoms have become a primary measuring tool, a checklist of required steps to maintain good animal welfare. We are farmers, producers, and the like; we have a responsibility to educate how we are caring for our animals.
In this series, we are covering: Freedom from Hunger and Thirst, Freedom from Discomfort, Freedom from Pain and Injury, Freedom to Express Normal Behavior, Freedom from Fear and Distress.
Hunger and Thirst.
This first freedom means that the animal has access to fresh, clean water and proper dietary food. The big key piece is this statement: "Making sure they are given food and water as they require."
How to Ensure This Requirement
New Standard prides itself on using the latest technology that ensures the best outcome for producers. They use the Nedap Electronic Sow Feeding System (ESF). Using ESF allows for a specific diet that is created specifically for that particular animal. Based on the size, need, and weight; the system allows the producer to choose what is best for the animal in terms of feed. This balance, paired with knowledge, enables your animal to maintain the appropriate weight needed and ensures a balanced diet that will keep it happy.
ESF is also engineered to alert a producer if there isn't feed dispensed to the animal when they are ready. It sends alerts, like an alarm system, to keep the producer aware.
Why New Standard Trusts Nedap
The Nedap ESF is designed to disperse both feed and water at the same time. This method is a better option for the animal as it reduces the torture of eating dry food and being devoid of water. This syncing of both food and water allows your animal to feel satisfied after its feeding. Without the water and only providing dry feed at the time of eating, that First Freedom is broken. New Standard recommends at the time of new barn construction to install an ESF that allows for both feed and water.
Additional Resources of Water
It's important to consider that your barn is equipped for the animals' thirst. Having an ESF machine that disperses it with the feed is excellent, but when they do not need to eat, consider installing Water Nipples around the barn. Sometimes all your animal needs at the time is a refreshing drink.
With the help of a proper ESF machine and water stations, you are ensured on checking that box on the Five Freedom needs.