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DEKKER FARM: The Netherlands

In the whole of the Netherlands, about fifteen two-storey pig farms can be found. The housing approach offers lots of advantages for producers, Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek found out.

 

For more information on the two-storey pig farm, please check upcoming issues of Pig Progress.

 

 

 

Photo

  • The pig house, 12 m high in the middle, 33 m wide and 67 m long, is located in wide open space, but does not attract attention. The second floor's windows have been conveniently covered, although inside the pig house plenty of daylight comes in. The pig house needs half of the surface of a usual pig operation, which is convenient in the Netherlands, where area is scarce.

    The pig house, 12 m high in the middle, 33 m wide and 67 m long, is located in wide open space, but does not attract attention. The second floor's windows have been conveniently covered, although inside the pig house plenty of daylight comes in. The pig house needs half of the surface of a usual pig operation, which is convenient in the Netherlands, where area is scarce.

  • Only gilts and lactating sows can be found in an adjacent, 'old-fashioned' pig house. In total, Dekker has 240 lactation places; and another 240 gilt places. Gilts come in at 23 kg.

    Only gilts and lactating sows can be found in an adjacent, 'old-fashioned' pig house. In total, Dekker has 240 lactation places; and another 240 gilt places. Gilts come in at 23 kg.

  • After weaning, dry sows and growers will go to the neighbouring two-storey pig house. Dry sows will be located at the ground floor; growers will have to climb and are located one storey above.

    After weaning, dry sows and growers will go to the neighbouring two-storey pig house. Dry sows will be located at the ground floor; growers will have to climb and are located one storey above.

  • Dekker feeds liquid feed to all his pigs. Outside, this mixing basin can be found for maize and wheat starch. Next to it is another mixing basin for distillers grains and wheat starch.

    Dekker feeds liquid feed to all his pigs. Outside, this mixing basin can be found for maize and wheat starch. Next to it is another mixing basin for distillers grains and wheat starch.

  • Three mixing tanks can be found at the two-storey pig house's cellar. The one in the back mixes ready liquid feed for weaners; the one in the middle mixes ready liquid feed for growers and lactating sows; the one on the left for sows.

    Three mixing tanks can be found at the two-storey pig house's cellar. The one in the back mixes ready liquid feed for weaners; the one in the middle mixes ready liquid feed for growers and lactating sows; the one on the left for sows.

  • Several feed silos have been built indoors to reduce temperature influences on its contents. They reach until the ceiling. In total, the pig house has nine silos for dry feed (capacity 90 tonnes) and five for liquid products (capacity 250 m3).

    Several feed silos have been built indoors to reduce temperature influences on its contents. They reach until the ceiling. In total, the pig house has nine silos for dry feed (capacity 90 tonnes) and five for liquid products (capacity 250 m3).

  • In the two-storey pig house's ground floor, dry sows can be found. In the picture, sows can be seen in the waiting area. Dekker can keep 82 sows in this section; and two boars.

    In the two-storey pig house's ground floor, dry sows can be found. In the picture, sows can be seen in the waiting area. Dekker can keep 82 sows in this section; and two boars.

  • Gestating sows are being kept in free access stalls. The sows use their freedom extensively. At the ground floor, 15 departments can be found, each having 46 places.

    Gestating sows are being kept in free access stalls. The sows use their freedom extensively. At the ground floor, 15 departments can be found, each having 46 places.

  • On the top floor, Dekker keeps his growers. He has room for 13 grower departments each of 320 animals.

    On the top floor, Dekker keeps his growers. He has room for 13 grower departments each of 320 animals.

  • The piglets are a crossbreed of a Topigs 30 sow and a Pietrain boar. Preweaning mortality is 10.9%; post-weaning mortality is 3.2%. In total, Dekker reaches an average of 27 weaned pigs/sow/year. He sells approximately 28,000 growers per year at 25 kg at 11 weeks.

    The piglets are a crossbreed of a Topigs 30 sow and a Pietrain boar. Preweaning mortality is 10.9%; post-weaning mortality is 3.2%. In total, Dekker reaches an average of 27 weaned pigs/sow/year. He sells approximately 28,000 growers per year at 25 kg at 11 weeks.

  • This afternoon, a truck is picking up the piglets for finishing elsewhere in the Netherlands. The floor has been sprayed with water to make cleaning afterwards an easy job.

    This afternoon, a truck is picking up the piglets for finishing elsewhere in the Netherlands. The floor has been sprayed with water to make cleaning afterwards an easy job.

  • As the growers have been located on the top floor, moving into a three storey lorry is easy - they can walk slightly downward, straight on, or slightly upward...

    As the growers have been located on the top floor, moving into a three storey lorry is easy - they can walk slightly downward, straight on, or slightly upward...

  • ...all that needs to be done is a small adjustment of the bridge.

    ...all that needs to be done is a small adjustment of the bridge.

  • Dekker's pigs are often sent to Germany for finishing as well. The majority of his pigs is eventually slaughtered there, no matter where they were finished.

    Dekker's pigs are often sent to Germany for finishing as well. The majority of his pigs is eventually slaughtered there, no matter where they were finished.

  • Last but not least: a quick look into the farm's breeding facility. Dekker's gilts are being vaccinated for E.coli, parvovirus, erysipelas, PRRS and swine influenza. Piglets are only vaccinated against PCV2.

    Last but not least: a quick look into the farm's breeding facility. Dekker's gilts are being vaccinated for E.coli, parvovirus, erysipelas, PRRS and swine influenza. Piglets are only vaccinated against PCV2.

  • Apart from earlier mentioned maize, distillers grains and wheat starch, the liquid feed for both sows and growers consists of CCM, returned milk, porridge, steamed potato skins and feed additives.

    Apart from earlier mentioned maize, distillers grains and wheat starch, the liquid feed for both sows and growers consists of CCM, returned milk, porridge, steamed potato skins and feed additives.

Editor PigProgress

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