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The facility definitely started to show its age, and we were to the point where the genetics
had outgrown the facilities' abilities to properly house them.
So we were going to need to make a lot of investment in our current 900 head sow farm
to keep it functional for the foreseeable future.
We do not disagree with individual stall housing, but we were definitely interested in what
was out there for group housing.
And so we started to do our homework and look into the different options.
We had a few requirements and that was that production would not go down because of the
housing.
We did not want animal care to be reduced because of the housing.
And we wanted to be able to feed them on a individual basis even though they were grouped
together, for proper nutrition.
We looked around at a lot of different options and talked to a lot of different people about
our ideas and were introduced to New Standard and their work with Velos and Nedap and their
group housing concepts.
So we chose to build a 4400 head sow farm.
Our goal was to fill 2400 finishing barns in a week, so that's how we decided to size
the farm.
And it is a fully filtered farm located in Lyon County, Northwest Iowa.
There are a lot of other pigs around and so disease is our biggest challenge.
And so we do everything from technology and biosecurity to keep that at bay.
The housing concept, we didn't want to limit ourselves for the future because we knew we
were going to invest a lot of money in the system and so we wanted the ability to fit
not today's genetics but the future's genetics.
We wanted to be moving dirt in the Spring of 2015.
We are, permitting was not a huge challenge for us.
There's a lot of other places that is a challenge where we are in a very ag friendly community,
so that was not a challenge for us to get permits.
We broke ground on our 4400 head sow farm in the spring of, or in March of 2015.
We did a two phase build, so we built half of the project so our sow farm consist of
two gestation barns and two farrowing barns and one gilt developer barn.
We started with a gilt developer barn, the first phase gestation barn, and then the first
phase farrowing barn.
And in 2015 and in 2016, we added a second gestation barn and our second farrowing barn.
Here in the spring of 2017, we're just finishing up our final breeds on stocking and to date
have had very good success with the feeding system.
Our animal behavior we have very little to no fighting in the pens.
Our biggest problem-causer in the group housing is an open sow, and so, or an open gilt, and
so when they are coming into heat, they tend to pester everybody else and ride and so those
are the, that's really from a behavior standpoint, that is the biggest challenge in female.
So, obviously our goal would be highest conception rate possible, have as few of those females
in the group housing pen as possible and as soon as we notice them, get them pulled out
and other than that sow behavior, sow fighting has really been to a minimum.
The feed stations have worked relatively flawlessly.
I mean, we've had, I've maybe been down on a station for a half hour twice in two years,
and so the equipment has worked very well and so no complaints as far as the equipment
and the way it's held up on startup.
And the behavior of the pens has worked very well.
Again, our challenge is always disease in this area and so that always comes number
one, biosecurity and stuff for us.
I would tell others that if I was to build another barn today that we would put group
housing in this exact same concept.
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將母豬轉變為室內群養 (Converting to a Group Sow Housing Barn)

24 分類 收藏
車雅雯 發佈於 2020 年 2 月 24 日
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