The Élevages Bois-Franc barn located in Issoudun south of Quebec City is part of the Agri-Marche production system . Before the conversion to 8 Schauer ESF units the barn was a farrow-to-finish operation with 250 sows with 11 finishing rooms. The barn was renovated in 2012, with the introduction of sows in 2013. Agri-Marche did alot a work planning the renovation to meet the requirements such as low cost, meeting code requirements, keep same barn footprint, maintaining or increasing production and producing at least 1200 weaners monthly.
This operation batch farrows sows one group of sows each month and houses each group of sows after breeding in one large pen with two ESF units. The operation has 4 large rooms with 2 ESF in each pen. They are currently planning to renovate an on-site quarantine barn to train gilts on the ESF before entry to the main heard.
The system uses batch farrowing with groups of 150-160 sows dispatched in 5 groups always in rotation. There is always a group in the farrowing section, another in the breeding section and the other groups are in one of the 5 sections. Eventually, the system is planned so that the quarantine barn (which is not ready yet) will be used to train their gilts. The gilts will then arrive at the main barn already trained and hopefully bred. There will be four groups eventually that will be static groups that will contain each of them, one of the batches.The fifth group will be a dynamic group and theoretically, should contain only the gilts and maybe some “second parities” eventually. This is the objective as soon as the quarantine will be ready. Right now, what we are doing, we are studying the way the pens work. We also have other units using the ESF technology: we do external tests.
Wim van Wijk, Horst Farms
Wim van Wijk is the owner and operator of Horst Farms, a 275 sow farrow-to- finish farm located near Red Deer, Alberta. In 2013 he was considering a herd depopulation to address a disease problem and decided that this was a good opportunity to move to groups. The timing could not have been […]Find Out More
Matador Colony is near Swift Current Saskatchewan. The farrow-to-finish pig operation has 600 sows and was opened in early 2015 with 11 Nedap ESF units being used for different age females in a Dynamic group setting. The ESF units allow mixing of 2 different feed rations plus the addition of growth curves. They are using […]Find Out More
Geert Geene, Amberley Bacon Company
Amberley Bacon Company is a 1400 sow farrow-to-wean barn located in Huron County, Ontario. The new barn was built in 2011, with gestating sows housed in groups fed via a competitive feeding system. Geene’s family had always managed sows in groups, so group housing was a natural choice when designing the new barn.Find Out More
Doug Ahrens, Ham Land Acres
Doug Ahrens runs a 650 sow farrow-to-wean barn in Sebringville, Ontario and is very active in the swine industry, serving as a director with Ontario Pork and Chair of the 2015 London Swine Conference. His sow barn was originally built in 1996, and in 2013 a 6,720 ft2 addition was added to create space for […]Find Out More