CANADA - A representative with FGC Construction suggests the age of the barn, its layout and its ventilation will be among key factors to examine when evaluating its suitability for renovation, writes Bruce Cochrane.
As part of work being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc Canadian scientists and engineers have developed resources to assist pork producers in evaluating the viability and in planning the conversion of stall housing for gestating sows to group housing.
Bob Houben, with FGC Construction, observes key factors to consider when comparing the viability of converting compared to building from scratch, include the age of the barn, its footprint, its layout and its ventilation.
Bob Houben-FGC Construction
The ventilation and the age of the barn play a big role in what we do today.
I do come back to ventilation a lot but that has to do with the style of structure that we work with to allow enough airway through the attic of the barn to bring the air in to make the pig comfortable.
Pigs are a lot like the people.
The less cooler air, the more comfort you have, the better the product of the pig is.
The age of the barn and the whole flow of the facility, taking a look at how it is all tied together.
A lot of it comes back to age and the style of structure from a wood structure to a concrete structure.
In the area that we're in, we build a lot of concrete structured walls right to the eve and that tends to create longevity of the barn.
A 20 year barn compared to a 20 year wood structured barn, you're probably going to be able to save that barn and concert it.
As for a wood structure barn, after 20 years, they've seen a lot of their life and a lot of them aren't salvageable.
Mr Houben says it's too early to identify patterns but some producers have converted the gestation area of the barn to loose sow housing and built new farrowing facilities to increase litter spaces.
For more information on converting visit groupsowhousing.com.
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