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Walk the Pens Virtually with a New Simulator

by 5m Editor
4 June 2009, at 9:20pm

US -Pfizer Animal Health is launching a new on-line educational simulation that can be played from any standard computer, "Virtual Walking the Pens," to help demonstrate the importance of Individual Pig Care.

If even one pig gets sick, the entire barn is at risk. Walking the pens and observing each pig for health issues is the best way to ensure the whole population's health, and the barn's bottom line.

"We all know that we can improve on the training provided to contract growers and employees," says Eric Farrand, Pig Husbandry Team Manager, Pfizer Animal Health.

"This simulation helps workers put basic animal husbandry and Individual Pig Care concepts into action."

Walking the pens game

The simulation, available at www.virtualwalkingpens.com/, puts players in a barn situation where they are asked to make decisions and shows them how their actions regarding pig care will affect the entire virtual barn. Producers will make decisions based on 24 virtual pigs as they walk the simulated pens.

Those decisions will be projected across a 2,400 pig population to see how they affect the barn's profitability.

Producers will have to make choices about feed, water, group and individual pig health issues based on their observations of the virtual pigs.

They also will have access to a virtual veterinarian who provides advice based on symptoms described by the producer.

The score can be affected by the producer's choice to act on the advice or not.

"Virtual Walking the Pens" is intended to show producers how taking time to care for individual pigs could improve their bottom line.

Allowing producers to visualize the cause and affect in a virtual setting can help motivate them to apply the simulated practices to each real operation.

The simulation lets players compete nationwide, but Pfizer Animal Health sales representatives can help set up the competition within individual systems as well. Each month a new scenario is presented and producers are encouraged to play as often as they want to improve their score.