Piglet from farrowing unit

Optimal climate in the farrowing unit

Optimal climate control in the farrowing is very important for the farmer’s economy.

The number of produced pigs per sow has increased dramatically during the last decade. This has improved the farmers’ economy incredibly as the production costs are nearly independent of the number of born piglets per sow. However, it is crucial that the born pigs survive, because the farmer gets paid for the weaned pigs, so the number of pigs weaned per sow per year is a “Key Performance Indicator” for the farmers.

 Many articles have been written in farmers’ magazines in order to give the farmers advice to improve the number of weaned pigs per sow per year. However, an important but overseen parameter is the control of the climate. Munters offer all the necessary products to secure the optimal climate for the sows as well as the small piglets in the farrowing unit.    

The farrowing unit – the unit where the small piglets are born – is also the most difficult room to ventilate compared to other livestock buildings. The reason is that the sows and the small piglets have different requirements to the climate.

The sows prefer a room temperature of 18-20 Celsius, however this is too cold for the small piglets that prefer 32-34 Celsius when they are born. The table shows optimal temperature settings for the rest of the cycle.

Optimal temperature in a farrowing unit

The first hours are crucial

A new research project has demonstrated that the temperature the first hours after a pig is born are crucial for the survival or performance. The risk for dying is seven times higher if the room temperature is 15 Celsius instead of 25 Celsius. Therefore it is important for the farmer to know the precise farrowing time so he can raise the temperature setting in the controller to 22 Celsius in the hours around farrowing. Also in warm climate areas with tunnel ventilation the air flow should be reduced around farrowing so the new born pigs do not get chilled. It is better to have less air speed and use cooling pads to reduce the temperature around farrowing in warm countries.

 In the farrowing pen is a corner with a heating plate or a cover with a heat lamp. However, when the pigs are new born they cannot benefit from that. After birth it is more important for the piglets to find their mothers udder and get the important colostrum.

 When the pigs are one day old half of the pigs are intelligent enough to use the heated corner and the farmer can start to reduce the setting for the room temperature so the climate get more optimal for the sow. In order to produce enough milk for the large litters the sows must be in her climate comfort zone. A reduced room temperature will also secure that the piglets prefer to sleep in the heated area in the corner of the pen instead of close to the sow. That will reduce mortality among the small piglets as the risk for getting killed when the mother lay down is reduced.

Components to all climate zones

Munters has the ventilation components (inlets, actuators, fans, controllers and if necessary cooling pads) to create the optimal climate in farrowing units all over the world - both in a cold and hot climate zones.

World-wide the best farmers get 27-34 weaned pigs per sow per year. One extra weaned pig per sow raises the gross margin by 5-8% depending of meat- and feed prizing. Optimized climate system has great influence of mortality and milk production and will be crucial for the farmers’ economy.

Get inspiration to use Munters products

Farrowing unit in US

Farrowing unit in US

During the cold period the air is added to the farrowing unit through BI inlets. In the wall are installed vortex fans. During the summer season is the basic ventilation enlarged with adding extra air to the head of each sow. 350 m3/hour/sow is added through the tube systems. As an alternative to the channel system adding air to the head of each pig can also be used tunnel ventilation with maximum 1.8 m/s.





Farrowing unit in Denmark

Farrowing unit in Denmark

A covered area and a heat lamp are in the corner of the pen, so the pigs can lay in a warmer area then the sows.

Products: IL ceiling inlets and TU chimney fans. The inlets and the dampers in the TU chimney fans are regulated by Linak actuators. Farmmaster and Farmcenter are used to control the fan speed and position of inlets.
Ventilation capacity: Maximum ventilation is 400 m3/hour/sow.



Farrowing unit in Brazil

 Farrowing unit

Open house with cooling of each sow. Products: Cooling pads in a central cooling unit which blow are through a duct system. Air is delivered to the head of each sow during warm periods.
The ventilation capacity is 350 m3/hour/sow.

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