Facilities in the pig sector. Pig housing
The following general requirements must be considered in the construction of pig housing
The following general requirements must be considered in the construction of pig housing:
- The land must have adequate drainage to avoid diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis and pneumonia in the pigs.
- The orientation of the accommodation when it is open, should ensure that the animals are protected from the wind. To reduce the effects of the sun, the buildings are placed on an east-west axis.
- Buildings should be easily accessible and the design should consider the sequence of routine work and the flow of personnel.
- The construction should have a clean water supply and the larger buildings or huts should have electricity whose circuits are not within the reach of the animals.
- The floor should have adequate insulation capacity.
- The indoor environment should have an adequate temperature and humidity and therefore it requires good ventilation.
Variations in ambient temperature between day and night can affect the animals, especially young and newborn piglets. In cold climates, pigs require air conditioning at the right temperature for each age.
Extreme temperatures also affect fattening pigs, resulting in reduced growth and increased feed consumption. That’s why a bed of straw in cold pens is useful, so the animals can better withstand low temperatures. Animals housed individually are more susceptible to low temperatures than those housed in groups.
When it is too hot, animals can be kept cool with water in piles of 25 centimeters deep and 1.5 square meters per animal. The water is changed when it is dirty, requiring about 5 liters of water per animal per day.
In regions with variable climates, it is necessary to build closed housing equipped with a ventilation system to maintain an adequate temperature, remove excess humidity and eliminate gases produced by feces and by the breathing of the animals.
In small and medium sized houses, a natural ventilation system is enough. This is based on the fact that the fresh air outside is heavier and pushes the warm air out of the facility.
In large buildings, particularly in the case of closed halls, it is almost always necessary to have an artificial ventilation system using vacuum, compression or constant pressure.
Types of floor for Pig housing
In simple constructions, the floor can be made of either terra firm or gravel. In other constructions, concrete floors are often used, although this is less insulating and may also cause hoof injuries if the floor is rough. Animals should have clean and dry bedding to prevent the animals slipping.
In some houses, slatted floors are frequently used, especially in feedlots. These floors make cleaning easier, but are not recommended for piglet houses, as the piglet’s legs may get stuck between the spaces in the slats.
In regions where there is wind and rain, the roofs should be blown off. The maximum height of the roof is about 3 meters. The size of the windows in closed cabins will be up to 5% of the floor area.
Together with the construction, the necessary space for the deposit of animal waste will be provided. Each pig produces about 3 kilograms of feces and 2 liters of urine per day. These by-products are of great value in agriculture. The feces and bedding are removed daily and stored outside the houses.
Urine and wash water from the stalls are conducted to a pit with a capacity of up to one cubic meter per animal. These products are stored there until they are delivered to the fields.
Types of Pig housing
Depending on the production system used, the different pig houses can be grouped together in
- Housing for breeding animals.
- Accommodation for breeding animals.
- Housing for fattening animals.
Within each group of accommodation there are various types of pens and cages, ranging from open-air pens to semi-closed and enclosed buildings with individual cages, according to the climate and the system of exploitation.
Accommodations for dry pregnant sows and sows in gestation include
- Individual pens or cages.
- Pens for groups of sows’
Accommodation for breeding animals includes:
- Pens for bathing and disinfection.
- Pens for maternity and breeding.
- Pens for maternity.
- Pens for breeding.
The construction of a pig farm is a decision that should not be taken lightly, since it means an important investment that determines the future of a company.
The costs of building a technician pig production system, in combination with an adequate genetic selection system, is considerably better than traditional production systems.
The costs in labor and in the equipment of the houses, not having the need to use prefabricated concrete separators, are considerably lower using prefabricated separation systems, which also facilitate the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities.