Award-winning Birth-to-finish Pig Housing Concept Set to Revolutionise the Future of Pig Farming
Imagine if piglets could spend their whole life in a house, together with their mother and siblings, until they are ready for slaughter. This is the Havito Birth-to-finish housing concept jointly developed by Big Dutchman and Bröring Pig Partner in an effort to future-proof pig production.
This concept that prioritises hygiene, animal welfare and health was named one of the DLG Agriculture Concept winners at EuroTier 2022. The system that is currently in the test phase in a research facility will see the first batch of piglets being born in the beginning of 2024. These piglets will then remain in the same structured pen for the entire rearing and finishing period without being relocated.
The Havito birth-to-finish concept is in response to the challenges faced by farmers who wish to provide for improved animal and common welfare. However, practicality of the system is also at its core as it is built-in with ingenious technologies, making it a feasible alternative to traditional pig production methods.
Evolving Needs of the Sow and Piglets are Continuously Met
The Havito birth-to-finish concept is designed to follow a 21-week production cycle. This cycle includes the period of farrowing, which lasts for either 5 or 6 weeks, followed by a suckling period and then 15 weeks of rearing and finishing before the pigs are ready for slaughter. Throughout their entire lives, the piglets remain in the same pen where they were born and their space requirements are taken into consideration as they grow.
The sow always gives birth in the same barn and the piglets learn from their mother how to find food without any changes to their eating space. Additionally, elements that are required for the piglets’ birth in the open farrowing pens can be folded up during rearing. This structured, and well-thought-through method reduces the time to turnover a batch, ensuring productivity and profitability is always maintained.
Here's how the Havito birth-to-finish housing concept nurtures both sows and piglets in one place without being relocated:
Preserving Hygiene and Reducing Animal Stress
The Havito birth-to-finish housing concept is actually an enhancement to the existing Havito Welfare Barn. Introduced in 2018 for rearing and finishing of pigs, it has now been extended to include sow management, making it a complete end-to-end system.
Central to the birth-to-finish concept is the PigT pig toilet, which quickly separates urine and faeces from the pen using a belt system which is part of the floor of the pen. This means less ammonia is formed, improving the air quality in the barn and reducing ammonia emissions in the exhaust air.
The pen is designed in such a way that it has a closed surface and keeps urine and faeces separate at all times. This allows the entire pen to be covered with organic bedding material. The pigs naturally arrange the different areas within the pen, including a space for lying down, an area for activities and a designated spot for defecating.
Designed to accommodate the sow, piglets and finishing pigs, the pen’s flexibility provides its inhabitants up to 40 percent more space for movement. The barn is specifically created with well-lit rooms that receive ample natural light. Furthermore, the unique flooring system enables the pigs to engage in their natural rooting behaviour, enhancing their wellbeing and overall health.
The Havito birth-to-finish housing concept is an exploration of the future of pig production in the most ideal conditions. The concept is also complemented by some of Big Dutchman’s most trusted technologies, from feeding, drinking systems and ventilation systems. These include:
- DryRapid conveyor system to transport feed in the form of meals, crumbs or pellets
- Nipple Drinkers & Drinking Bowls for access to sufficient clean water at all times
- CL Series wall inlets for high velocity ventilation in closed housing, ensuring stable air circulation and fresh air
- 307pro or 310pro climate computer for continuous monitoring and control of climate in the barn
- Heated Flooring for ultimate animal comfort in colder climates
Big Dutchman and Bröring’s investment into the Havito birth-to-finish housing concept is a testament to revolutionise the future of pig production. It is all about making pig production more humane, eco-friendly, sustainable and profitable while ensuring practicality for industry-wide adoption.
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Daniel Holling, Head of Business Development, Big Dutchman International