Friday, November 16, 2012

farrowing house

Our new thirty stall farrowing house is up and waiting on construction of the farrowing pens for us to put it into use. These pens, of course, will be roomy, non-constrictive for the sow and protective of the piglets, and will be bedded with straw. We have, as you know, decided some time ago that farrowing crates, which so completely control the movement of the sow, are not for us. Therefore, we needed to design a pen that would encourage the sow to do on her own what we want her to do, that is, to farrow her piglets in some comfort and to settle in quietly with them for lactation. Much thought has gone into these pens. We will have much more on this in later installments of this writing. Important too is the design of the building, which is very well insulated, with a higher ceiling and natural light via windows for a better atmosphere for both farmer and animals. It also incorporates a passive geothermal system which delivers ground water through pipes buried in the concrete for the purpose of cooling the sow in the heat of summer and keeping her quiet and comfortable. Pipes have also been installed in the piglet area so that we might warm them by use of a thermal solar panel. This is exciting for us. And it is this kind of thinking that will be necessary if agriculture is to move from being a climate problem to a climate solution. Stay tuned. More to follow. Jim