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Hog Confinement

Our barn is located two miles to the southwest of our farm. We built this barn in the late 90’s and have worked with five companies, Ponderosa Ridge, Furnas County Farms, Nebraska Pork Partners, Newsham and Maschoff. Our barn is split with two sides that are 150 feet in length and each have 30 pens. In the center we have all of our controls and a place to gather the pigs for load out. Next to our load out we have a shower/restroom where we have coveralls and boots to put on before entering the building as cleanliness is critical to preventing health problems.  The feed system is automatically controlled by sensing when the feed is low and then filling all the feeders along the way. Curtains are along the north and south which are controlled with the computer according to what temperature we want the room to be. This varies as it needs to be warmer when the pigs are smaller. Pigs do create a lot of body heat although we do have propane heaters to supplement heat when the pigs are small or it gets very cold. Each side has four pits that have a pull plug on each end of each pit. As the pits get full a plug is pulled on the opposite end as the time before. The slurry then drains out to a lagoon that we then can pump out on the fields when there is enough to do so. When we do pump out our outdoor lagoon, we hire a company that can inject the fluent into the soil using a drag line to connect to the implement. This is a very good fertilizer source. The company we currently work with is Maschoff, we grow and isolate gilts and boars. This works out well for us as we do not have to own the pigs or purchase the feed, just provide the building, upkeep, utilities, and labor; in return for a monthly rate. After they are old enough we sort according to a selection process through the Maschoff program. We then ship the selects to breeding locations and the culls to market. When we get one side emptied out we power wash and disinfect, as it usually isn’t too long before we load up again.