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Water Considerations Key For Intenstive Hog Operations

by 5m Editor
12 March 2007, at 10:19am

CANADA - Water is an important nutrient. It helps produce new tissue in growth and pregnancy and compensates for losses through respiration, evaporation and elimination of waste.

As a result, the amount and quality of water available to new and expanding pig operations is a very important step in the planning stage of an intensive hog barn. It can also be one of the most significant cost factors, both in terms of initial capital investment and ongoing operation.

“Water is a major influence in site selection, and should be considered early in the planning stages,“ said Troy Donauer, Livestock Development Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food (SAF).

Today, more efficient pig barns use fewer resources to create the same volume of product. Water requirements will also drop as animal, equipment and nutritional efficiencies continue to improve through research and development.

Even so, Donauer says that the water needed for hog operations will always be a major factor. “Including sanitation, the average daily water usage in a farrow-finish operation is around 85 litres per sow,“ he noted. “Its importance can’t be overstated.“

The quality of ground water in Saskatchewan is variable and site specific. The most common issues are high levels of iron and sulphates. Surface water is at a higher risk of microbial contamination from bacteria, viruses and parasites. Therefore, location is critical in order to avoid infiltration from manure, pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer. Water pipelines are becoming more widespread in Saskatchewan, and are increasingly becoming an option for hog operations.

Source: DiscoverMooseJaw.com

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