In horse husbandry, improvement efforts are constantly underway to make horses’ domesticated lives more species-appropriate. New technologies play an important role in these efforts, such as automated feeding and manure removal systems to shorten feeding breaks, reduce stress for the horses, and minimize the workload for caretakers. And at Piavita, we are always searching for ways to use technology to improve the lives of horses and the people who care for them. So this new cooperation is an exciting venture!
DiWenkLa is an exciting joint research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the University of Hohenheim (UHOH) and the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences (HfWU), in cooperation with the state institutes of the Ministry of Rural Areas and Consumer Protection in Baden-Württemberg (MLR).
The DiWenkLa project
The acronym DiWenkLa, when translated from German, stands for “value chains for sustainable small-scale agriculture.” The project is being carried out in Baden-Württemberg where there are still many small-structured farms. With the increased use of digital technologies in the external and internal economy, there is a growing risk that these small and medium-sized farms in particular will fall behind due to the cost of such technologies. This research project aims to counteract this development.
Together with industrial and service sector partners as well as several farms, new digital technologies are being tested in various production areas such as arable farming, field vegetable production, grassland management, and cattle and horse husbandry.
Various technologies from the fields of robotics, automation, sensor technology and artificial intelligence will be tested and further developed. The farm managers will put various communication, cloud and farm management systems to the test as well. Such new technologies and systems are expected to further support the environment and nature, enable higher animal welfare, and contribute to higher economic efficiency for the farms.
What is the role of the Piavet System?
In the sub-project titled Horse Industry Digitalization, five areas are being investigated: feeding, manure removal, herd safety, customer communication and animal welfare indicators. The Piavet System will be used in the areas of feeding and manure removal to measure stress in horses by looking at heart rate. Comparisons will be made between manual and automatic feeding of roughage and concentrates in stall and group housing to improve horse husbandry efforts. We are very proud to be part of this research project and look forward to bringing you more updates as the study gets underway soon!
Interested in following along with this project? Check out the DiWenkLa project page (in German) here. And don’t forget to subscribe the our blog and follow Piavita on Instagram and Facebook to see our updates!
At Piavita, we like happy vets and healthy horses. It’s that simple. Our mission is to transform veterinary care by providing remote health monitoring technology to the veterinary industry. With a non-invasive, sensor-enabled hardware device and sophisticated software platform, the Piavet Solution automates and digitizes repetitive, manual tasks to help vets save time and improve patient outcomes. We are a diverse group of engineers, developers, researchers, and horse people with a passion for delivering meaningful solutions to veterinarians. We operate in Europe and the USA, with headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland. Have a question or suggestion? We’d love to hear from you.