Herd Profile

Sows sleeping in large pen that has 2 ESF units.
Sows sleeping in large pen that has 2 ESF units.

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.

  • 850 Farrow-to-wean, batch farrowing
  • three Static groups, one Dynamic group with 8 ESF units
See Conversion Process


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.