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Proposed layout of buildings for a 100-sow production unit

In this article the proposed layout of buildings for a 100-sow production unit is highlighted. The series was compiled by the ARC’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering. The layout of piggeries should be planned in such a way that it facilitates the supervision and management of the various breeding and growth stages. The proposed layout includes the most important principles.Though these can be adapted to the specific needs of individual breeding farms, it is advisable to stick to them as closely as possible.
The following should be kept in mind:

  • In most regions in South Africa a north-facing building is advisable for maximum utilization of air and heat. A north-facing position will also facilitate natural ventilation – a practical consideration in our warm climate.
  • The site should be well-drained with slopes of between 2,0 and 4,0%
  • The prevailing winds should be studied for purposes of controlling bad odours.
  • The layout of buildings should be such that it allows for logical flow of pigs during all the different growth and breeding stages.
  • Sufficient clean water is essential.
  • Reliable electricity supply, especially to the farrowing pens, is essential.
  • The easy movement of pigs between buildings and pens should be possible.
  • The distribution of feed should be simple and efficient.

Disease control
Because of the management importance of disease control, the layout of the piggery should be designed with this in mind. Visiting pig breeders, sales representatives and delivery vehicles which move from one piggery to the next pose the greatest danger in the spreading of disease. To eliminate infection through these sources, the following precautions can be built into the layout:

  • The piggery should be surrounded by a security fence. Admission should only be possible through the office of the manager.
  • Feed is delivered from outside into the feed silo, which is built into the fence,, or into feed tanks, which are filled from outside by means of an air-pressure or an auger pump.
  • Pigs are moved into or out of the piggery by means of a loading ramp opposite the finishing building.
  • Visitors should park outside the fence near the office.

Layout of buildings
The layout of buildings should be such to allow for a logical flow from the top to the bottom of the piggery unit.
While there is a continuous flow of sows between the dry sow quarters, the service quarters and the farrowing quarters, the buildings are placed downhill in this order. The following two buildings, that is the weaner and grower pens, are placed on the same terrace close to each other. From the grower building a separate fenced passage leads to a point between the finishing buildings lower down.
Feed and herding passages
The fenced passages which run along the ends of the buildings can be used to distribute feed to all the buildings, or to herd the pigs from one building to the next, as necessary. Gates that are long enough to close off the passage are installed where needed. The gates are left open against the passage wall when they are not in use.
Choice of building
The building plans provide for alternative types of buildings for weaners and growers. Small changes to the size and arrangement of the layout are inevitable, depending on the choice of building plans, but the sequence of the buildings should not be changed.
Distance between buildings
Because the buildings depend on natural ventilation, the distance between the buildings should be made larger. The distances can also give added protection in the case of fire. With proper planning of the gardens in the open areas the usually boring surroundings can be made attractive.
Workshop/machinery parking
A workshop can be placed in the bottom corner of the unit where there is enough space to park and turn machinery.
Manure handling and storage system
It is suggested that these facilities are put outside the unit.
All down-flow channels and pipes work with gravity and lead to the waste handling system. An entrance gate for operators should be provided in the fence close-by.
Future expansion
Provision for future expansions is imperative, even if the possibilities seem remote.
Provision has been made for an additional 100-sow unit in the plan layout.
The road fro tractors and trailers around the 100-sow unit is necessary to eliminate problems with turning. The road is adapted as indicated for the second unit.
Further expansion can be done either on the other side of the second unit or on the other side of the road opposite the side fence of the office, or even above the existing unit.

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