Many producers have implemented innovative technologies for improving animal management and efficiency. Some examples include air crates in farrowing, automated heat detection, and robotic power washers.
Air Lift Crates in Farrowing
Air lift crates are used in farrowing rooms to minimize piglet crushing. When a sow stands up, the lift activates to raise the sow up and her piglets remain on the pen floor, away from the sow greatly reducing the risk of crushing when the sow lies down. When she lies down, the platform lowers to piglet level, allowing the pigs to nurse.
RFID Heat detection
An automated heat detection unit is useful for finding any sows that are not bred. RFID heat detection is used with ESF systems. In some barns this feature has eliminated the need for preg checking; open sows that visit the boar are flagged by the computer and then marked and diverted to a holding pen the next time they visit the feeding station.
Sow shower at Hog-Tied Farms Ltd. Before sows move into farrowing, they pass through a shower area in the hallway, enjoying a refreshing bath and scrub! .Sow Shower Hog-Tied Farms Ltd. video
The robotic power washer reduces cleaning time by doing a preliminary wash in farrowing.
A window between farrowing rooms brightens the room and allows workers to communicate between rooms.
The CO2 box is an alternative method for piglet euthanasia. Note that CO2 gas is aversive to animals, therefore the Code of Practice requires that all piglets must be sedated before undergoing CO2 euthanasia.