Minnesota Farmer

The pigs move in
December 20, 2012, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Animal care, Farm, farm animals, Minnesota | Tags: , , , , , ,

For the last few months there has been a large building project going on in one of our fields.  Yesterday the north half of that barn got a delivery of 1000 pigs.


The pigs have moved in.  Everything in this barn seems to have been done to make the pigs comfortable.  Heaters for the cold weather and lots of fans for the hot weather, but most of all lots of room to roam.  With todays outdoor temperature here in Minnesota well below freezing, these pigs need this barn for protection.100_1883

I find this new barn interesting.  Although there are fences, each pen has a way for the pigs to move between pens.  For now that freedom will be unrestricted.
As time goes on the large openings in the fences will be closed and movement will only be by way of one way gates.  100_1878These one way gates will mean that as pigs move around the room they will make a trip across a scale where they will be weighed.100_1875

A computer in the office will keep track of the weight of the pigs and allow the barns manager to decide when it is time to sell some pigs.  Then the scale will really earn its keep.  As each pig enters the scale a door will close behind it, if the pig is big enough it will be moved to a pen near the door, smaller pigs will be returned to the general population.  The door then opens for the next pig.

The freedom of movement means the pigs are used to moving about and seem to load easier into the truck.  This makes it much easier on the pigs and the people.

100_1879I also found the feeders interesting.  Each feeder has both water and feed available.  Pigs like wet food.  This allows them to mix their food and water.  When the pigs rattle the tray above the feed trough feed will work its way down where it can be mixed with water.  They also have some waterers for when they are only thirsty.  Everything in this barn seems to be made to work with a pig.  It is so interesting to see the changes in technology in the last years.

I never dreamed that when dad and I got out of pigs 12 years ago because it was too much work, we would one day have more pigs on our farm at one time than we used to sell in a year.  That day has come.  I’m not doing any of the work with the pigs, but we do now have pigs back on the farm.  The pigs are owned by a young farmer who really seems to know his business.  It has been a pleasure working with him to get this project going.  Hopefully he can make a profit on these pigs, because I’ve got to get this barn paid for.




2 Comments so far
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How do you handle the waste byproduct from pig farming? This seems to be an ever present challenge but should also be an opportunity to commercially harvest the biomass.

Comment by lenrosen4

That pig waste is organic fertilizer for 120 acres of corn every year from this barn, and is valued at over $20,000 U.S. We will hire a commercial hauler to apply it to our fields in the fall. He’ll inject it just under the soil surface to reduce the smell and make sure it stays put for the next years crop.

Comment by Michael

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