1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4, Page #34[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Condominium Baby Pig NurseryA new-style intensive care baby pig "condominium" nursery, featuring individual environmentally-controlled compartments inside a polyethylene tub, allows hog producers to wean almost one more baby pig per litter, according to Professional Nutrition Management, Ireton, Iowa.
The nursery, introduced recently at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, isolates small pigs that have a hard time competing for food with larger mates or were born to a sow that has stopped lactating or has died. Its 10 compartments are equipped with a positive pressure ventilation system and an adjustable, thermostatically-controlled heating system. The compartments, which also contain a trough for milk replacer, are covered by a clear plexiglass lid. You can locate this "tub condominium for pigs" anywhere in your nursery building.
"This is the first intensive care nursery system featuring environmentally-controlled compartments," says Roger Ashley, marketing manager. "The ventilation and temperature control systems keep pigs warm and dry while eliminating toxic ammonia and high humidity.
With a regulated, optimum environment, and a controlled, nutritious diet, this `tub' can save at least eight of the ten baby pigs that otherwise would have died."
According to Ashley, one out of four baby pigs born alive dies before it reaches weaning age. "We concentrate on saving the pigs that would die, due to various causes, during the first four or five days of life. By having each baby pig isolated into its own compartment, stress is minimized and pigs are kept clean and dry," says Ashley. "Each pig can receive milk replacer without competition or interference from other pigs."
The "tub" is 30 in. wide and 48 in. long, and is supported by a horizontal framework and bolt-on legs. There's a built-in flush pan with a 2-in. valve for easy disposal of manure. Inside, a squirrel cage fan with its own air distribution system, supplies air to the pigs. The ventilation ductwork and water supply lines are hidden under a "plank" that forms the perimeter of the tub.
All tubs are equipped with coated flooring. "The coated flooring is 10% warmer than conventional steel flooring, so the units stay warmer, thus reducing incidence of pneumonia common to small baby pigs," says Ashley.
Also available are "starter" and "orphan-age" tubs. Unlike the "condominium" tub, the "starter" unit is divided into two compartments each of which is fitted with a nipple watering system and dry feed bin. "The starter unit is designed for pigs that are doing well but need more time to adjust to dry feed," says Ashley. "It helps baby pigs get used to other pigs while making the adjustment."
The "orphanage" unit is completely open, and is designed for pigs about to enter the nursery. It can be used with milk -replacer, dry starter feeds and water.
The orphanage unit sells for $285, the starter unit for $550, and the "condominium" nursery unit for $695.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Professional Nutrition Management, Ireton, Iowa 51027 (ph 712 278-2396).
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