Publish Date: September 1, 2020
The transition in the swine industry to confinement production, where extensive mechanical systems are used automate many routine processes, has created new management needs and challenges. These mechanical systems wear and are prone to failures; therefore, they must be maintained to keep the facility functioning correctly. The cost of the repairs and maintenance can vary widely based on the maintenance program followed and the original equipment installed. Iowa State Extension estimates that the cost of repairs and maintenance annually is 1.5% of the barns original cost, although the type of maintenance program is unknown (Christensen, 2019). To minimize the cost and maximize the barn’s efficiency and lifespan, a maintenance programs must be created and implemented. The different electromechanical systems in a barn (ventilation, feed, water, etc.) all have components that could lead to system failure, thereby having a negative impact on production and pig welfare. For example it has been noted that a feed outage lasting 24 hours can cost at least $1.00 per head in finishing situation (Hollis, 2006). This could be caused by an equipment failure in the feed system and the costs would likely increase rapidly if compounded with multiple equipment failures.
Publish Date: November 1, 2019
Economies of scale and the greater need for efficiency have resulted in the vast majority of pigs being raised indoors. These artificial environments have a great impact on production performance and the health status of both the pig and the worker. With the pork industry becoming more integrated, uniform-style barns are built in multiples, and an error in design can be multiplied many times over. This situation highlights the continued need for adhering to basic design principles in ventilation and environmental control.
Publish Date: June 20, 2018
Manual feed drops and automated feeding systems are commonly used on modern production farms to conserve labor and provide accurate feed allowance relative to an individual animal's metabolic demands and target body condition score. However, dust accumulation and daily wear on the machinery may cause the system to lose accuracy over time, and differences in diet type or composition, such as changes in pellet quality or adjustments in the nutrient content of the diet, will create inaccuracy and skew the amount of feed actually provided to the animals. This in turn may cause over- or under-feeding of sows during gestation and lactation, and can distort the accuracy of feed efficiency and usage records. For these reasons, producers are recommended to re-calibrate their feeding systems on a regular basis and every time changes to the diet are made. Re-calibrating feed systems is a quickly and easily preformed chore that will improve pig performance and the efficiency of feed usage on the farm.
Publish Date: April 10, 2009
In todays swine industry, biosecurity protocols are perceived to be extremely important in order to protect the health status of a herd. While the easiest way to introduce a microorganism into a swine herd is through the introduction of infected animals, the potential for pathogen entry via contaminated fomites, i.e. boots, transport vehicles, etc. has…
Publish Date: November 14, 2014
Due to specific state legislation or market requirements many farms will have to house gestating sows in groups. Management practices will have to be modified for farms to be successful when housing sows in groups during gestation. Gilts and sows have a dominance hierarchy based on aggression and avoidance. Fighting among sows mainly occurs during the first 2 to 3 hours after mixing. The hierarchy is primarily established within 24 hours. An important consideration will be how to mix sows and gilts in groups to reduce overall, prolonged aggression. This article will provide guidelines that can be used to formulate standard operating procedures for mixing sows into gestation pens. For this ‘How-To’ sheet, it will be assumed that females (gilts and sows) will be mixed after they are mated.
Publish Date: April 4, 2012
Ventilation air-to-air heat exchangers are used in swine housing facilities to reduce supplemental heating cost and to preheat incoming fresh air. There is potential for heat exchanger use in some swine barns, since as much as 90% of the total heat loss from an insulated swine nursery facility occurs through the minimum ventilation air exchange. Heat exchangers recover a portion of this loss, depending upon design and maintenance. In addition to reducing fuel use, heat exchangers preheat the incoming ventilation air thereby reducing the potential for drafts on piglets and reducing frosting problems when air enters directly from outside. Heat exchangers also improve air distribution, because warmed inlet air will not drop as rapidly as cold inlet air.
Publish Date: June 6, 2006
A general understanding of the operation of swine facilities is required in order to develop a maintenance program. The objective of this paper is to provide an understanding of swine facility operation and to indicate key areas necessary for an effective maintenance program. Any implemented maintenance program may or may not require all key areas…
Publish Date: 20060918
Purdue University 1997 Swine Research Report. The implementation of improved health management strategies including segregated early weaning and all-in, all-out rearing has resulted in increased post-weaning growth. The improved growth rate in turn results in pigs achieving 60 to 70 lbs. live weight after 6 to 8 weeks in the nursery. Limited research has been…
Publish Date: 20060918
Purdue University 1998 Swine Research Report. Environmental factors including disease exposure, social stress and less than optimal stocking density limit growth. As a result, pigs managed under commercial conditions are unlikely to express their maximum potential protein accretion, even when allowed ad-libitum access to a high quality, nutrient dense diet. The operational protein accretion is…
Publish Date: 20060907
Kansas State University Swine Research. Methods for measuring concentrations and emission rates of particulate matter (PM) from mechanically ventilated livestock buildings were evaluated in a laboratory facility and in a swine-finishing barn. Concentrations of PM were measured inside the room (room sampling) and at the exhaust duct (exhaust sampling). Concentrations at the exhaust duct were…