Pig housing in the UK has to meet fairly rigid requirements as animal welfare is a key part of the industry’s focus. As such, your farm has to be designed with a minimum amount of floor space for individual pigs, and according to their weight or focus. As an example, boars need 6m2 while sows require 2.25 m2 weaners and rearers have a wide range of minimum unobstructed floor requirements, ranging from .15 m2 to 1.64 m2.
Additionally, the regulations state that flooring has to be smooth and not slippery, constructed to ensure no injury or discomfort, and suitable to size and weight. It is also important to note that when no litter is provided by the farmer the flooring is also supposed to be even, stable and rigid. Concrete floors have a lot of technical requirements, and it is why flooring mats are such a popular choice.
They help to meet design requirements such as one that demands housing materials are not “harmful to the pigs and can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected or replaced if needed” and that any slats are kept to safety standards, too.
When looking at options for pig housing flooring mats, consider the following points:
- Made of high quality materials, specifically durable plastics
- Choose mats with support bars made of galvanized or stainless steel, or GRP
- Easy mount design for high stability in the flooring system
- Easy to cut and customize
- Non-slip rubber matting to ensure good foot hold for animals
- Rubber coatings for sow comfort and/or injury prevention
- Look for varied solid to void ratios
- Consider benefits of components like mats with plastic slats integrated with rubber or ceramic inserts or mats that have open and solid cast iron slats
- Abrasion resistance
The latter is important if you will be using the floors for piglets and sows as the cast iron can keep things cool for sows and the heating plates (ceramic inserts) can be used to warm piglets
At IDS Pigs, farmers can integrate the ideal flooring systems into their existing or bespoke pig housing designs, along with optimal equipment, ventilation and more.