Any farmer in the UK knows that being competitive is more important than ever, with Brexit looming and the various terms and tariffs attached to it still unresolved, most UK pig farmers are wondering where and how to improve their options. One of the most likely ways to remain competitive in the face of nearly any sort of changes is to increase sow performance. This is easier said than done, but with optimal housing and equipment, it is possible.
You can choose to refurbish existing housing or even construct new housing, and here is a checklist of what you’ll want to look for in the best sow management equipment and housing options:
- Bespoke design – There is absolutely no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution to sow management. From the amount of floor space and building size to budget, a good solution comes in at your needs and price.
- Housing based on life cycle – Service areas should be comfortable for sows and made of solid bar styles with adequate feeding space and easy to use gates and boar restricting doors. Group pens should be available with appropriately designed troughs and water stations or nipples, optimal flooring and ventilation. Single stalls in groups are also an option to ensure separate feeding stations. Farrowing housing is essential, and it should have adjustable crates, comfortable flooring, heavy duty locking at the back and an open canopy. Heat pads and/or cast-iron flooring are also essential.
- Easy to clean – Materials like PVC and stainless steel are a must, and tilting feeding troughs, vacuum trough flooding tubes for sows in stalls are also vital.
- Adjustability and ease of use – From adjustable pen sizes and removable maternity beds to easy to open and close doors and gates, sow housing has to be easily adjusted to a pig’s needs.
At IDS Pigs, clients can get entirely bespoke upgrades or new builds for all stages of life.