As part of a European project, led by Midiporc and in collaboration with Ifip, various players in the Occitanie pork industry have imagined the building of tomorrow that respects both animal well-being and the environment.
For pregnant women, the objective was to combine in the same housing slatted floor, the distribution of straw in more or less large quantities and automatons to simplify the work of the breeder, but also the technical management of his exploitation. . The sows are housed in a dynamic group of 116 animals. The living area is on slatted floors and cubicles are materialized using partitions positioned against the walls. The floor of the cubicles can be on a lying surface in order to better materialize the resting area for the animals. In one of them, straw racks are positioned above the lying bed in order to limit waste while allowing a better expression of the natural behavior of the animals. Sows have 2.25 m² per animal. They are powered by a Dac which also allows weighing using a connected scale. This weight allows the breeder to check their weight gain and possibly correct the feeding plan according to the weight objectives before calving. Once out of the weighing system, the sow can be returned either to the living area or to a sorting pen. This space makes it possible to isolate animals for interventions or transfers. It must be sized to accommodate a full herd, especially for sorting before entering the maternity ward and must have drinking troughs. This area is sized at 1.8 m² per sow. The ventilation is dynamic with a centralized ventilation duct which pumps the air under the gratings. In addition, the areas under gratings have V-shaped scrapers or are managed with a floating slurry system.
Energy savings and lower ammonia emissions
The environmental performance of the pregnant mother is calculated on three criteria (energy, ammonia and greenhouse gases). They are compared to those of two classic reference farms on full slatted floors, one without good practice (Ref), and the other with air washing and pit cover associated with passive methanation of the Nénufar type (Ref approx. +).
– Energy savings are 54% thanks to the installation of centralized ventilation compared to reference farms managed with room-by-room ventilation.
– Ammonia emissions are reduced by approximately 20% more with the floating slurry technique and air washing compared to the Env + reference if the sows defecate in the slatted areas. If a bed is installed in the cubicle area, ammonia emissions may be higher if they are soiled by manure. It will then be necessary to arrange the room to encourage the sows to defecate on the slatted floors (creation of an air current, humidification of the ground, creation of an activity zone by positioning the feeding and watering).
– The results concerning greenhouse gases are much more mixed. Emissions are close to those of the reference without good practice but remain 69% higher than the Ref env + farm which benefits from passive methanation.
Overall, the cost per seat is very close to those encountered in the field (from €1,315 to €1,423 based on the cost of materials in January 2021). The prices may vary slightly depending on the level of improvement and the type of automaton chosen to equip this box (Dac and connected scale).