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Nifty A-frame For Outside Farrowing
"We've used A-frames for more than 15 years but this is the first time we've added a panel on front. Makes it easy to keep sows in individual pens," says Leroy Kooiker, Rock Rapids, Iowa.
Kooiker used to keep sows in groups of 20 or so, all in one pen with A-frames grouped around it. That caused problems of doubling up in houses and too much competition for feed.
The new farrowing houses have a 6 by 8-ft. base with sloping sides that peak at about 5 1/2 ft. A 4 by 8-ft. sheet of plywood runs across the front of the house. A swinging door is cut out of the front. A small door at the rear of the house - just under the peak - can be opened to increase ventilation inside the house.
The A-frames are picked up two at a time with a front-end loader by hooks on top of each house. They're positioned in a straight line across a field and each house is fastened to the one next to it. An 8-ft. wide individual wire pen runs straight out from the 8-ft. plywood panel front. Kooiker has 101 A-frames lined up in two rows. Feed is dumped on the ground from a feed cart each day. Water is sprayed into a round concrete trough in each pen from a tractor-pulled water cart, using a 3-ft. PVC "nozzle" that Kooiker made to reach down over the side of the pen.
Kooiker also made a sow-mover cage to mount on the tractor loader bucket. It lets him reach over the sides of pens to place sows in the pens or remove. Eliminates the need to herd animals.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Leroy Kooiker, Rt. 2, Box 129, Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246 (ph 712 472-3094).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1