Photo

PORK TALBOT FARMS: Ontario, Canada

3 5557 Home

Two years ago, a massive fire destroyed the farrowing section of Pork Talbot Farms, Canada. About 800 grandparent (GP) sows perished and for another 1,200 there was simply no future. Dramatic as the whole situation was, the owner grabbed the challenge of re-building even better. Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek had a look before the first pigs will arrive.

Photo

  • Owner Brenda Jackson (left) and her daughter Jenna had to start from almost scratch again.

    Owner Brenda Jackson (left) and her daughter Jenna had to start from almost scratch again.

  • It took Jackson one full year of planning and thinking to devise what the new farrowing section would look like.

    It took Jackson one full year of planning and thinking to devise what the new farrowing section would look like.

  • Obviously she did not want to take any possible fire risks - and included e.g. fire retardant flooring - these will be used in the showering facility.

    Obviously she did not want to take any possible fire risks - and included e.g. fire retardant flooring - these will be used in the showering facility.

  • Jackson aims to apply high animal welfare standards at the farm - and she made the most of the fire disaster by implementing some new management ideas, like preparing for the introduction of a four-week batch management system. As no other pig farm can be found in a 10 km radius, she aims to keep the farm free from diseases and vaccinations.

    Jackson aims to apply high animal welfare standards at the farm - and she made the most of the fire disaster by implementing some new management ideas, like preparing for the introduction of a four-week batch management system. As no other pig farm can be found in a 10 km radius, she aims to keep the farm free from diseases and vaccinations.

  • As an

    As an 'own' feature, Jackson had windows built into the new farrowing section, to provide ample light for both the sows and the workers on the farm.

  • Sows will be put head-to-head in the farrowing section, with ventilation coming from above. Weaning is at 21 days, after which the young pigs will be transported elsewhere for becoming a breeding gilt (females) or production animal (males).

    Sows will be put head-to-head in the farrowing section, with ventilation coming from above. Weaning is at 21 days, after which the young pigs will be transported elsewhere for becoming a breeding gilt (females) or production animal (males).

  • A four metre concrete corridor, to be built, separates the new buildings from the older, existing but renovated dry sow zone, that unfortunately had to be emptied after the fire as the sows had nowhere to go to for farrowing.

    A four metre concrete corridor, to be built, separates the new buildings from the older, existing but renovated dry sow zone, that unfortunately had to be emptied after the fire as the sows had nowhere to go to for farrowing.

  • The dry sows, 1,000 Yorkshire and 1,000 Landrace, will be kept in pens of on average 61. The newly adjusted ceiling is made of fire-retardant fabrene.

    The dry sows, 1,000 Yorkshire and 1,000 Landrace, will be kept in pens of on average 61. The newly adjusted ceiling is made of fire-retardant fabrene.

  • They will receive a liquid feed mix of e.g. corn, soybeans, cream yeast, DDGS, beer, expired frozen vegetables and frozen doughcorn. Troughs are administered to the wall.

    They will receive a liquid feed mix of e.g. corn, soybeans, cream yeast, DDGS, beer, expired frozen vegetables and frozen doughcorn. Troughs are administered to the wall.

  • Across the road, adjacent to an old dairy barn from 1850, a boar stud for 150 mainly Landrace and Yorkshire boars is being constructed, in conjunction with Manitoba-based genetics company Genesus. Semen is used for on-farm breeding gilt production and for sales.

    Across the road, adjacent to an old dairy barn from 1850, a boar stud for 150 mainly Landrace and Yorkshire boars is being constructed, in conjunction with Manitoba-based genetics company Genesus. Semen is used for on-farm breeding gilt production and for sales.

  • The genetics company aims to enter the Ontario market through this project. The first animals are expected to enter here in the end of June 2009.

    The genetics company aims to enter the Ontario market through this project. The first animals are expected to enter here in the end of June 2009.

  • About 1 km down the road, the third and final section of Pork Talbot Farms takes shape: a quarantine farm for gilts.

    About 1 km down the road, the third and final section of Pork Talbot Farms takes shape: a quarantine farm for gilts.

  • On August 20, 2007, as can be seen at this archive picture, a nightly blaze struck the 2,000 sow GP farm, destroying the farrowing section, causing death or smoke damage to many breeding animals, thus effectively cancelling operations for almost two years.

    On August 20, 2007, as can be seen at this archive picture, a nightly blaze struck the 2,000 sow GP farm, destroying the farrowing section, causing death or smoke damage to many breeding animals, thus effectively cancelling operations for almost two years.

by Editor PigProgress last update:Jul 12, 2012

3 comments

  • # 1

    Ruth Monteith (Miss Ruth)

    Brenda, Jenna, Matthew
    I am looking for you on Facebook. Just started with a computer and would really enjoy sharing info with either of you. Brenda, it has been so long since we talked, I miss you and the kids. So sorry about the farm! I am now living in Fort Erie, Chris and David and my 2 grandsons are living in London. When you get a chance please drop me a line.
  • # 2

    Ruth Monteith (Miss Ruth)

    Looked At the pic of you and Jenna, awesome! Try to get back to me when you can. Your friend and teacher Ruth
  • # 3

    jamie

    i have 17 years experience 6 years as a barn manager of a 2700 unit are you looking for any experienced help? please e- mail me jcwilma@hotmail.ca

Leave a comment

Or register to be able to comment.