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Photo Report: Swine Experimental Centre, Spain

The Swine Experimental Centre near Segovia, Spain, is full of all kinds of measuring equipment – with only one goal: to learn as much as possible about pigs and sows. Join Pig Progress during this insightful visit.

Photo

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Segovia must be one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Close to this city, known for its cochinillo (roasted suckling pig), where the Swine Experimental Centre (CEP) can be found. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Even from the outside of the Centro Experimental Porcino, the snow-covered hills of the Sierra de Guadarrama can be seen. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Driving force behind the farm is Carlos Piñeiro, also CEO for PigChamp Pro Europa, a company for pig research, service and consultancy. He is a strong believer that Web and Big Data are going to help livestock production forward. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    First we take a look in the barns that were acquired in 2004. There's research and trials going on. So let's pay attention before we enter any of the rooms...Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    How to know the effects of supplying water of different quality and quantity to the piglets? The CEP built in various different water pipes (see in the background) in this section to be able to do water trials. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    In this room, lactating sows are fed using Nedap Farrowing Feeding; this allows to know feed consumption even though they are not in group housing. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    The gestating sows are kept in groups using Electronic Sow Feeding (ESF) equipment by the Spanish company Gerionte. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    The farm buildings used to be part of a commercial farm in the part. Piñeiro changed the design of the ESF facilities and ever since the sows have been very calm. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    The 2004 buildings also provide insemination stalls. The farm functions as a normal commercial facility in case no trials are done. In case trials turn out to have an adverse effect on the pigs, then the CEP is compensated. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    This sow lift comes in handy to deal with overgrown claws. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Main focus of research of the CEP are in the areas of feeding, environment and welfare. In order to get the exact experimental diets, targeted diets are made by feed mill Nuri i Espadaler, located near Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Having a lot of monitoring equipment on the farm means that the equipment needs attention too from time to time. Is everything still working the way it should? Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    The part of the farm from 2004 consists of 2 buildings. These sows are on their way from one building to the other. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    The newer part of the farm was only added in 2015. It is full of sophisticated measuring equipment and biosecurity is very high here. Another round of showering is required to go in here. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    The newer part contains a separate classroom for education purposes. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Metabolic cages – these allow researchers to capture anything an animal secretes after having eaten their feed. This method is a meticulous way to establish how feed ingredients are being used. Animals usually don't stay here very long. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Some piglets are being brought here after weaning to observe long-term effects of certain feeding strategies to sows. After all, what sows eat during gestation may or may not be beneficial for their offspring later in life. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Some more high tech equipment in the CEP: this is an infrared photoacoustic field monitor, being able to capture any information on air quality inside the barns. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    Special attention for this device. It may look like a giant fridge hanging at the ceiling, but in fact it is a rat trap. On top there is a collection of sunflower seeds...Photo: Vincent ter Beek

  • Photo: Vincent ter Beek

    ...Once the rats are on top, the floor flaps and they fall into a basin of water with alcohol. This is a demonstration model – rats would smell humans instantly. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

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