Part III: Foil Curtains Help Pigs Stay Warm

For the past few weeks, I had to move my “pork chronicles” to the proverbial back burner while corn and soybean harvest moved to the front burner. My priorities for the past eight weeks have been doing hog chores and combining row crops. I’ve managed to eat meals and conduct a few media interviews before catching a few hours of sleep each night.  Now that our crops are in the bin, I’m making blogging a priority.

More videos will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, I’m posting a few photos to help give you an inside view of my operation. One photo shows the “foil curtains” we put inside our hog barns as insulation. The heater provides keeps the pigs more comfortable when temperatures dip like this week when overnight lows have been below freezing. You’ll also find a photo of the controller, which coordinates all of the fans, heaters, curtains and misters that add to the pigs’ comfort.

The temperature outside was 28° when I did chores this morning, yet our pigs were snug and warm inside. When hail hit last Friday and snow showers fell throughout the northland, our pigs didn’t notice a difference. A consistent temperature allows our pigs to be comfortable regardless of the elements, and comforts such as dry and warm conditions keep them healthy.

The picture of the empty pen is my hospital pen. Although it’s empty right now, the hospital pen allows me to isolate a sick pig to give it special care.  Sometimes healthy animals will try to kill a sick pig; it’s nature’s way of trying to control a disease by eliminating the threat.  “Survival of the fittest” happens whether pigs are inside or not. One of the advantages of my barns is that I can closely observe my livestock and help protect the weak. Modern facilities such as these have made huge improvements in animal welfare.

Feel free to send me any questions you have about  modern pork production.

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