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PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

Danish pork producer Niels Aage Arve at Krannestrup Farm is happy to have new systems tested at his modern farrow-to-finish farm. He teams up with the Danish Pig Research Centre (VSP). Pig Progress got the opportunity to take a look in his breeding facility.

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  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    The 1,200 sow breeding facility was built in 2012 and is located in Hjortshøj, just north of Aarhus, Denmark. The farm attracts a lot of visitors from abroad, as the headquarters of Danish Crown are just around the corner.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    Niels Aage Arve proudly showing one of his piglets. Just like many breeders, his sows are Landrace x Large White, inseminated with Duroc semen.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    For visitors and the ten employees, a special canteen is equipped with a large window, through which anybody can watch the insemination room.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    The canteen also home to a whiteboard where all figures are meticulously noted. Green signifies ‘target achieved’, red indicates ‘attention needed’.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    Let’s take a look inside the insemination house. The sows are kept in groups of 58, and they only stay there for approximately five days until confirmed in-pig. What immediately jumps into view is the HJminiStrø, a robot automatically distributing straw to the sows. It glides through the building on a rail.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    When the robot needs to go into the adjacent room, special doors open up and it goes through.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    The adjacent room houses the gestating sows, kept in groups according to European laws. The sows have higher and lower walls to lie against, as they enjoy a sense of security.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    The sows are kept in dynamic groups of approximately 65, equipped with Electronic Sow Feeding (ESF) stations provided by the Danish firm Skiold. On average they have a space of 2.2 m2 per sow.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    Sprays are being used around the ESF stations to keep the floor tidy and avoid it becoming slippery from faeces. Also the moisture does not make it very nice for sows to lie right in front of the stations.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    Adjacent to each group housing pen is a hospital pen. This way injured sows – mostly with bad legs – don’t have to be pushed for long distances, which can be quite a job which is easily postponed for time constraints.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    When entering the farrowing and lactating house, ongoing trials with several kinds of loose farrowing strategies are being made. In the ‘Freedom Farrowing’ concept, the sow is allowed to walk around at any given moment of farrowing and lactation.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    In the ‘SWAP pen’, sows can be kept in confinement only as long as this is needed to protect the piglets – and then she can be set loose again. Doing trials with these strategies can be placed in the context of a theory of there being so-called ‘killer sows’, or sows sometimes simply appearing to be clumsier or less careful than others and thus causing large numbers of casualties in litters.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    On average over the last year, Arve weaned 31.8 piglets per sow per year over the last 12 months – this includes the trials. He aims to reduce his pre-weaning mortality to 15% while still using free farrowing strategies. The piglets are weaned at 29 days

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    A snapshot of young gilts waiting to be inseminated for the first time.

  • PHOTO REPORT: Krannestrup Farm, Denmark

    Biogas facilities outside the farm buildings. The total surface of the farm is 410 ha.

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