Our family hosted an open house of our newly constructed wean to finish swine barn on our farm last week. We had many neighbors, friends and business partners in the hog industry attend to see our new barn.
This barn will hold 6,200 pigs! Yes it is big, but the amazing thing about it is that it will be so much healthier and comfortable for the weaned pigs coming in. Baby pigs are weaned around 20 days of age and are able to eat and survive on their own. A “wean to finish” barn means that we will bring in the 20-day-old pigs and feed them until they are around 280 pounds – or market ready weight. The baby pigs are born in a farrowing barn so they can be cared for there before coming to our bigger barn.
The inside of the barn is what was amazing for our guests to see. Because of biosecurity reasons to keep the pigs healthy, we don’t allow people to walk freely in and out of the barns. Our workers must shower-in and shower-out when they are working in our barns. At our open house, people were able to see (and literally eat their dinner in) the pens, how the feed and water gets to each pen, and how waste is easily removed. New technology in this barn will allow us to give antibiotics/medicine to individual pens of pigs only when they are sick.
This barn is the epitome of comfort for the pigs. It is temperature controlled to an average 72 degrees year-round with great air-movement by the fans, has room for the pigs to move around and socialize, and is safe for the people working there who can walk the pigs out in a large alley down the center of the barn. And it is set atop a nice hill so essentially the pigs have a great view!
Our family has been raising pigs for over 60 years and the barns in the picture on the left were built by Bart’s grandpa. They were perfect when they were built to provide comfort and a good diet to the pigs, but because of new technology in food production, we know a lot more now about taking care of pigs and providing healthy, safe and affordable pork for your families! The other barns in the picture on the right are smaller wean to finish barns but with the same technology as our new barn.