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New Solar Heated A-Frame Hog House
"One of these went through an entire Minnesota winter without any supplemental heat," says Jeff Thompson, Mankato, Minn., designer-manufacturer of a new solar-heated, A-frame farrowing house-nursery. It can also be used as a calf barn.
A glass-faced solar collector stretches 10 ft. down from the peak of the roof on the south-facing side. Heat is trapped between the glass and the exterior A-frame wall. A 1/2 hp. pit fan pulls heat and fresh air from the collector, up to the roof peak and down into the building. It's finally pulled out of the building just above the pit.
This unusual air flow pattern is designed to prevent pit gases, and disease and dust laden air from being carried throughout the building, according to Thompson.
"I think we should be sucking all the contaminants down to the floor where they can be exhausted without contacting the pigs," Thompson explains, "rather than trying to blow the air around as in other systems."
A false ceiling and 6 in. of fiberglass insulation help hold warm air inside the building near the pigs where it's needed. A back-up gas heater is included, but usually runs only at night if at all, Thompson says. During the summer, a large exhaust fan helps pull warm, moist air out of the building.
The 7 1/2 ft. high interior false ceiling seals off the heat-robbing roof peak area while still allowing plenty of head room for working in the building.
Thompson says the A-frame design wastes less space than a conventional building. "The angled walls trim away excess airspace that would have. to be heated and ventilated in other structures," he points out.
The solar hog house is 32 ft. long, 18 ft. wide and 12 ft. high at the outside peak. Thompson installs 4 by 8 ft. tie stall farrowing crates in the building. Or, he can substitute wire-fence growing pens. The building will hold two rows of 8 crates with sows and pigs, or 16 growing pens with 16, 40-lb. pigs in each. Thompson also recommends the solar house for calves. It will hold at least 32 calves comfortably, he says.
Cost is right at $14,000, erected on your pit. The price includes everything from the pit up, including feeders, waterers, farrowing crates, flooring and ventilation and heating systems. Thompson's also selling detailed do-it-yourself plans for $25 per set.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jeff Thompson, R.R. 6, Box 330, Mankato, Minn. 56001 (ph 507 388-7313).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #1