Pig buildings & housing development

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Many of the current intensive livestock production systems require the provision of a controlled environment for housed stock. In commercial agriculture, pigs and poultry are the animals most often associated with controlled environment; however, there are other animals that can also thrive in controlled conditions at some time during their lives.

Controlled environment for livestock

Most farmers would think of little more than temperature and humidity as comprising the ‘environment’ for the animal. But, in fact it goes much further than that. Environment embraces other factors like airspeed, air quality, light level and colour and surrounding surface materials.

Well-designed systems will maximise outputs through higher growth, reduced mortality; minimise inputs – mostly feed and energy and also improve the health and welfare of the stock.

The Controlled Environment for Livestock (4th edition) handbook covers some of the fundamental principles involved in controlled environment. Practical systems, equipment and design examples given in the appendices.

Ventilating pig buildingsOur Ventilating Pig Buildings guide aims to help producers provide optimum living conditions for pigs, thereby improving production efficiency, through a better understanding of the principles of ventilation and types of system available. To request a hard copy email: comms@ahdb.org.uk

undefinedDesigning A Water Supply System

This guide covers a wide range of issues that should be taken into consideration when designing a water supply system for a pig unit. These include infrastructure, cleaning and in-water medication, as well as the design of distribution and drinking systems. The guide includes standard values and calculations, which are a basis for ensuring that water is distributed safely, at flow rates and pressures that deliver volumes to satisfy the demand from livestock. Download the guide here.

Key figures for pig accommodation in England - legislative requirementsA pocket book summarising the key figures and legislative requirements for pig accommodation in England is also available in hard copy and online. 

Finisher Pig Buildings Design and Build – a blueprint for English farms

AHDB Pork has also produced a comprehensive guide to new building construction for English pig producers – how to plan, design and build a new finishing house.

Hard copies are available free of charge to AHDB Pork levy payers.  Please email: pork.environment.ahdb.org.uk  providing your name and business address. 

For more detailed information regarding building design please refer to the AHDB Pork Environmental Management for Healthy Pig Production document or the AHDB Pork British Pig Project.

Silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil regulations

If producers run a farm in England that stores silage, slurry or agricultural fuel oil, they need to abide by the Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations, known as the ‘SSAFO’ regulations.

The regulations are intended to minimise the risks of pollution from silage effluent, slurry and agricultural fuel oil by setting out standards that are required for the design and construction of storage facilities on farms in England and Wales. They apply to all slurry stores and reception pits.

Defra factsheets and notification forms are available on its website.  

The British pig industry has suffered from a lack of investment in buildings, mostly in nursery and grower/finisher accommodation. A consequence of this is poor pig performance on many pig units and this leads to an increased cost of production.

AHDB Pork conducted a survey to establish the condition of pig buildings in England, including producers’ attitudes to investment in new buildings and associated technology. The results can be found here

AHDB Pork offers producers the opportunity to visit other producers in the UK and overseas to look at different building systems and technologies. One example was the AHDB Pork study tour to Ireland in October 2014 which looked at how the Irish pig industry has developed over the last twenty years and, in particular, how producers have coped with loose housing of sows since the EU sow stall ban, as well as looking at wet feed systems and novel ventilation systems.