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 the boar pen station for heat detection along with natural breeding. There are no stalls in the breeding areas for boars or sows.
The Matador Colony barn was built in 2013, near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The barn is designed to house 600 sows, farrow to finish, with three large dynamic gestation pens. Mature sows are penned separately from gilts, and fed with Nedap ESF feeders. The pens are laid out following Nedap specifications, with pen partitions designed to reduce recycling (i.e. multiple feeder visits). The feeders are laid out side-by-side, and after sows have fed they must exit the feeder and pass through a common sorting alley. To re-enter the feeder, sows must walk around the entire pen. The flooring is partially slatted, with a 20mm (3/4”) gap width. Solid flooring in the bedroom areas is preferred by sows, and results in fewer sows lying in the alleyways.
The gestation barn includes three dynamic group pens. One is designed for gilts and uses 3 ESF feeders, with a maximum capacity of 120 gilts at approximately 20 sq ft/gilt. The two sow pens include 4 ESF feeders each. Pen 1 is for lower parity sows, with a maximum capacity of 180 sows at 22 sq ft/sow, and Pen 2 houses older parity sows, with a capacity of 180 sows at 24 sq ft/sow.
A boar pen with RFID heat detection is used to electronically identify any sows that come into heat.
The Matador Colony barn is one of very few new sow barns built in western Canada in recent years. The barn was populated with Fast Genetics sows in February 2015. Further information on the Matador Colony barn and sow production will be available in 2016.
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