Ventilating Converted Sow Rooms
Ventilation has a large effect on barn operating costs and many aspects of the environment. Using the existing ventilation system in converted sow facilities (from stall to group housing) will lead to over-ventilation during the winter as the minimum ventilation fans are designed for higher animal densities. Cost is increased and the animals performance may be affected as they are chilled. Ventilation rates 33% higher than needed is found when it is continues at the pre-conversion levels, leading to an increase of heating energy consumption of 75%. This is not solved by reducing the rate of ventilation as re-configuration to ensure the distribution of air is proper is needed. Various design configurations were examined. The results confirm that re-designing the ventilation system is needed. The most effective design in removing heat from the animal was the horizontal flow ventilation system. It provided cleaner floors and better air quality and did not affect animal performance. Enrichment use was greater in the room with the horizontal ventilation design indicating the sows were more comfortable.
Ventilating Converted Sow Rooms (full article)