Pig unit ventilation – expert advice

Pig unit ventilation is under the spotlight in a new DVD from BPEX. The aim is to help pig producers identify ventilation-related problems and, more importantly, provide practical solutions.

It is presented by John Chambers of J C Consulting, who has been trouble-shooting problems caused by poor ventilation for many years. Ventilation systems have a significant impact on the health, behaviour and performance of pigs at every stage of production – it is not to be underestimated.
Trial and error
BPEX Head of Knowledge Transfer (KT) Dr Mike Varley said: “Producers often rely on trial and error to tackle the challenge of ventilation on their units. But it is best to seek specialist advice as early as possible. BPEX wants all producers to benefit from greater understanding of the subject and the DVD will help achieve that.” The regional KT managers are also running ventilation workshops for producers throughout the spring.
Nottinghamshire pig producer Michael Hatton attended a BPEX ventilation workshop at his local pig club and said afterwards: “I decided to explore my options further for a new building and asked for advice from a ventilation specialist. We also reviewed the existing systems at the same time.”
Ventilation systems are usually scrutinised when a new building is put up but they must also be regularly checked and maintained throughout the life of the building. On the DVD John Chambers explains what an effective pig unit ventilation system should do and how to maintain and run it. Importantly, it provides the information and advice to help producers assess their own units and make informed decisions about ventilation.
Key points to consider include:
·   The typical air flow within buildings and the problems that can result from where cold air lands
·   What does pig behaviour say about the current temperature/draughts?
·   Are building temperatures and outside temperatures monitored?
·   Should fans have louvers over them?
·   Ventilation requirements should be reviewed regularly, especially when building use or stocking level changes, for example when changing to a batch system
Copies of the DVD are available from BPEX.

Editor PigProgress

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