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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.

The facility definitely started to show its age, and we were to the point where the genetics

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Converting to a Group Sow Housing Barn

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    車雅雯   に公開 2020 年 02 月 24 日
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