Creating the Ideal Pig Environment What does it take to create the perfect environment for pigs? The primary goal is to create a space that is comfortable and well-ventilated. Whatever the temperature is outside, it is important to know what equipment it takes to make the pigs as comfortable as possible for maximum productivity.
Swine barn ventilation systems can vary, but the basic components include:
- Ceiling Inlets
- Evaporative Cooling Systems / Misting
Fans are the primary drivers of air movement through the barn. They remove excess heat by exchanging the air and providing airflow across the animals, so they feel cool – like being outside on a breezy day.
As the room temperature increases, fans stage up bringing more air through the inlets, then possibly transitioning to end wall curtains. As it continues to warm up outside, you’re trying to exchange the air more often and increase the airspeed in the room.
Ceiling inlets are used during colder times of the year. Air is pulled up into the attic of the barn and then back down through the ceiling inlets, to help distribute the air effectively. This also helps reduce humidity and gasses, and brings oxygen into the room.
Humidity can be an issue in barns in the wintertime because pigs create a large amount of moisture when they exhale. Winter is a delicate balance, because you only want to ventilate as much as is required to keep moisture and gas concentrations at acceptable levels without burning more propane or natural gas than is necessary to maintain set point. By finding your ventilation sweet spot, you can better maintain set point while removing moisture and excess gasses — all without wasting heat.
Take Control of Barn Environment
Controllers are a huge part of your ventilation system, and today’s controllers can provide a lot more management power than the systems of 20 or 30 years ago. Controllers can manage fans, heaters, inlets, curtains and other environmental components of your operation. But controls go beyond ventilation, and state-of-the-art controllers now include the feed system.
Controllers can also now connect to weather stations, meaning your controller can use data such as temperature, wind direction and velocity, and rainfall to help make decisions for your barns. This is especially helpful when the weather conditions are optimal for natural ventilation mode, meaning the barn takes advantage of outside temperature and wind conditions which reduces the amount of electricity needed to keep pigs comfortable.
Best of all, the latest controllers give you access and data to multiple barns and sites, right in the palm of your hand through EDGE. This mobile accessibility gives producers peace of mind that their animals are happy and performing at the highest level, no matter where you are, from the farm office to the cab of the tractor.