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Report no. 1603: Test of supplementary air inlets in a farrowing house

Tests made in a farrowing house during the summer reveal that supplementary air inlets improve sows’ immediate environment.

Abstract

SEGES Pig Research Centre tested three different types of supplementary air inlets in a farrowing house to evaluate the effect on the sows’ immediate environment during the summer. The three different types included trough valves, a single ceiling inlet per sow and transverse ceiling inlets in the section. No supplementary air inlets were installed in the control section. The primary parameters included temperature and CO2 concentrations recorded down in the pen, and each group comprised two farrowing pens.

Data revealed that it was possible to lower the temperature as well as the CO2 concentration with supplementary air inlets during the summer compared with the control group with no supplementary air inlets. The lowest temperatures in the pens were recorded in the groups with trough valve and one ceiling inlet per sow, respectively. In the group with transverse ceiling inlets in the farrowing house, the temperatures recorded in the pen were level with the temperatures recorded in the control group. The carbon dioxide concentration recorded in the pen was lower in all three groups with supplementary air inlets than in the control group. The temperature in the farrowing house was also lower in the three sections with supplementary air inlets, which was attributed to an increased air intake in these groups. These results demonstrate that supplementary air inlets have a positive effect on sows’ immediate environment and that the location of these affects the immediate environment when they are open. Analyses revealed no significant differences between the groups in sows’ lying behaviour and pen hygiene.

In the period without supplementary air inlets, data show a significant difference in the temperature down in the pen in the group with trough valves compared with the remaining groups. The lower temperature recorded in the pens with trough valve was attributed to the release of a small amount of air despite the fact that the damper in the ceiling was shut.

On the basis of these results, it is our conclusion that supplementary air inlets in warm weather improve the immediate environment of the sow as the highest temperatures and the highest CO2 concentrations in the pens were recorded in the control group with no supplementary air inlets. The optimum environment for the sows was obtained with one ceiling inlet per sow.

Updated: 14.04.2016

Author

Malene Jørgensen

Project Manager 

Tel.: +45 3339 4956

E-mail: majo@seges.dk

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