Farmscape for June 4, 2018
Research conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc has found the cost of converting barns for housing gestating sows from stall housing to group housing to be substantially lower than originally projected.
To assist pork producers in planning for the conversion of existing stall housing systems for gestating sows to group housing researchers tracked and documented barn conversions across Canada and is making that information available to producers at groupsowhousing.com.
Dr. Jenifer Brown, a research Scientist Ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, says 12 conversions were tracked across Canada.
Clip-Dr. Jenifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre:
Certainly there was a lot of speculation on what the cost of these renovations would be and what we found was that the cost per sow was lower than what was actually projected.
Certainly it does depend on how much concrete work has to be done or if you need to do a full renovation, stripping down the walls and altering your ventilation and those sorts of things.
In most cases farms did a minimal amount of concrete work.
The initial estimates were at least 500 to one thousand dollars per sow place but in actual practice the range seems to be from 300 to 500 per sow place and, in most cases, a lot of these groups were doing the labor, the renovation work themselves so they made some savings on the cost of the work.
Dr. Brown notes in terms of sow productivity, people saw some transitional reductions as the renovations were underway but once the barns were up and running productivity rebounded.
She says in terms of labor that went into barn chores, while duties changed, in most cases the workload didn't change significantly.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork