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Pig Barn Winter Ventilation

dwyertransparent

Jan 4, 2017

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

Winter Ventilation in Pig Barns 

As herdsmen(women) we have been entrusted with the day to day well-being of the staff, who work each day in the barns and the animals in our care.

During cold Canadian winters, providing quality air in the grower and finisher rooms can seem like a balancing act between clean air and energy costs.  For the sake of you and your staff  and the health and performance of your animals, proper air quality should be basic fact.

Here are a few points to think about:ammonia-graphic

  • If you breathe uncomfortably while in a pig room, or the room has visible vapour, barn workers health is at risk and the pigs are struggling too.  More often there can also be conditions where you can’t tell if ammonia (NH3) levels are elevated but if exposed to too much ammonia for an extended period of time, respiratory problems can occur.

    • From an paper from Dr. C. Dewey, B. Cox and J. Leyenaar.  Increased incidence of chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, irritation of the eyes………. can be experience in areas with ammonia (NH3) concentrations as low as 7 ppm.  Ammonia is expected to stay in the upper respiratory tract.  However, ammonia can adhere to dust particles and then will be carried to the smaller airways, causing more serious problems.

    • Citing Harry Huffman’s comments at the 2009 London Swine Conference.  Ammonia gas is released from the pig’s manure and should be kept at less than 20 parts per million.  Additionally, the relative humidity in the barn should be less than 70 percent.

From this information the question comes to mind:  how do we measure ammonia and humidity levels so we can manage our barn’s ventilation system to provide clean air without using too much heat?

  • Ammonia testammonia-test-strip

    • Paper test strips and Detector Tubes are available on-line or we can source them for you.

      • Directions for use are on the back of the ammonia strips package.

        • 1. Tear off a 2-inch piece of ammonia strip.

        • 2. Wet 1 inch of the strip with clean/distilled water.

        • 3. Wave the strip near animal level for 20 to 30 seconds.

        • 4. Wait 15 seconds and compare the strip color with the color chart on package.

      • Another low cost ammonia test with accuracy within 20% is called Colorimetric Tube or Detector Tube.colorimetric-tube

        • Use the provided air pump to draw air through the glass tube.

        • The chemical inside the tube will change colour

        •  Like a thermometer, you read ppm of ammonia on scale printed on tube.

        • There is also a passive detector tube that stays in place for up to 24 hours and reads an average ammonia level.

  • Humidity:  a basic humidity tester can be found at most hardware stores.  Place it in the room close to pig level during the test period.

You and your staff will quickly acclimatize to the smells of ammonia so it’s important to not just depend on the simple nose test as your air quality method.

When setting your minimum ventilation for your pigs rooms, remember the health benefits of cleaner air are more important then a few dollars in heating costs.

 

 

 

Reducing Feed Wastage

dwyerclear

Dec 28, 16

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

Reducing Feed Wastage

If pigs prices are up or down, if corn / soybean prices are up or down, it’s always a good idea to look at your feed delivery process to remove any wastage.

One or two small reductions in your feed wastage can result in significant dollars in your pocket.

Any of us would bend-over to pick up a $5 bill, imagine finding that $5 bill every day simply by bending over to adjust a few self feeders.

A quality New Year’s resolution would be to print this list and implement a few of them during the upcoming cold months and notice how your feed bill stretches a little further.

Check list on whole farm feed wastage areas:

  • Spillage at bin during filling.  Make sure your blow pipe is secure and without holes.  Do what you have to do to keep fines to a minimum.  Spilled feed attracts rodents.

  • Spillage and moisture in storage and unloading systems.  A little silicon goes a long way to stop moisture getting in.  If it’s beyond repair, contact us for a stainless steel flex and solid auger options that will serve you for many years.

  • Self Feeder:

    • Use a well designed self feeder that is easily adjusted and allows for proper water/feed mixing.  Dwyer Mfg can source a feeder to fit your needs.self-feeder

    • Insure there are enough feeding spaces for the pigs to eat with limited competition.

    • Even distribution of feed along the feeder.

    • Position of feeder in the pen so

      • The feeder is closer to the sleeping area, not the dunging area.  Manure in the feeder will always reduce intake and increase wastage.

      • it can be easily inspected from the passageway.

    • Locate the drinker so it can be reached but not played with and flood out the feeder pan.

    • A covered feeder is best to minimize dust in the room, reduce moisture and rodents from spoiling the feed. Include a see through area so feed can still be inspected.  Dwyer Mfg is a good source of PVC board.

    • Keep the feeder well maintained so it can be adjusted and no holes or cracks leak feed out.

    • Have feed available when the pigs enter the barn.  A detail that helps reduce lag in consumption that happens when pigs are moved.

    • Clean out your feeders thoroughly between batches.  Design your system so the feeder can be flipped upside down to really clean it out.

    • Don’t over-fill the feeders, especially when pigs first enter the barn.  Pigs will waste stale feed to find fresher.

  • Grind feed ingredients properly.  An average of 700 microns has been documented to be best.  Dwyer can do a particle test for you and provide you with a quality stainless hammer  mill.

  • Using multi-phase rations will give your pigs the correct nutrition as their needs change.  Every breed and farm can be unique, so conduct some tests to see what works best at your place. Dwyer Mfg can source or build you an affordable pig and feed weighing system.

  • Use some creep feed during the piglet’s last stage in the farrowing room.  It will ready their gut for solid food in the nursery barn. Conduct creep-feederyour own trials to find out how to fine-tune this to your system.  Dwyer Mfg has plastic and stainless creep feeders or piglet rescue decks.

  • Carefully feed a farrowing sow to meet her needs during lactation and during the first week back in the breeding barn.  Uneaten feed is a direct waste that turns moldy and attracts flies.

  • Having a “hospital” or recovery pen is a great idea but make sure the feeder is designed properly for the sick pigs that will be using it.  Keep the feed fresh and accessible. Dwyer can custom build a Stainless trough feeder for any size pig.

  • Keep rodents and birds out of the barn as best you can.  Screen naturally ventilated barns and put an anti-rodent program in place. It’s best to make it someone’s regular job or it’ll never get done. Put poison in short pieces of 2 or 3 inch pipe along the walls where rodents travel.  OMAFRA’s fact sheet on rodents CLICK HERE

  • Non-pregnant sows: It is essential that all sows 6 weeks post-mating are actually pregnant. A sow which is discovered not to be pregnant in week 16 of ‘gestation’ has just consumed 175 kg (2.5x7x10) of feed since mating. On many farms, this can be as many as 7% of sows. On a 250-sow unit, this is accounts for 3 tonnes of sow feed a year.

  • Cull sows:  Once the decision to cull a sow is made, ensure that she is culled as soon as possible. Cull sows are eating 2.5 kg a day.

  • Feeding finishing pigs prior to slaughter:  To feed a pig immediately prior to slaughter, wastes 2.5 kg per pig sold. Limit transport shrinkage by providing lots of water leading up to shipping.

  • Overweight finishing pigs:  Finishing pigs must be weighed and sold into the slaughterhouse matrix. Outside the box, the pig becomes extremely expensive.  Not only do they not earn the extra feed they have consumed, but they are going to result in a penalty at the slaughterhouse, reducing their return.  Dwyer Mfg can supply weighing systems that mark and sort pigs that meet the weight settings.

  • Review culling of runt pigs: Pigs which are born small and/or are weaned as a runt, should have their survivability carefully reviewed. Small, weak born piglets have poor FCR rate and increased mortality rate.  The feed cost of these animals needs careful review.

  • Air temperature and comfort:  Ensure that you keep the pigs within their thermo-comfort zone. If the pigs are housed too cold, feed will be consumed to help keep the pig warm.

The chart below shows clearly how feed wastage adds up in a hurry.

feed-wastage-chart

Note: this report is in Australian dollars.  Currently $1 CND = $1.03 Australian

Thanks to The Pig Journal UK. Pig Veterinary Society for base of this blog.

http://www.thepigsite.com/pigjournal/articles/2169/management-practices-to-reduce-expensive-feed-wastage/

 

happy-new-year

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy of the Season

dwyertransparent

Dec 21, 2016

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

Joy of the Season

With the kids all out on their own, the “ba-humbug” part of me comes out much more easily.  It’s hard to go to that place with kids around the house brimming with excitement about the tree going up, wrapping presents and getting a bunch of play time with no school.  For parents it great watching the kids get along more then usual.  They plan activities together out in the snow or get out a favorite game to play together.  The older ones are more inclined to help the younger ones do things like get mom and dad’s present ready or get the toboggans ready for an afternoon of adventure out on a hill.

It seems the switch that turns the tree’s lights on also turns on the spirit of the season for me and probably lots of others.

Below is a nice video aimed at kids, but good for everyone, to learn how different cultures around the world celebrate this special season.  What struck me from this video is how there are many different traditions around the world but there is a common thread that connects us all, this is a time we all work to be nicer to our fellow man.

 

We all have family traditions around the Christmas season.  With Dutch roots in my family, we give out chocolate letters and make deep fried oliebollen and appleflappen.

Last year we set up a deep fryer in the garage, cooked up some dutch pastry and had various beverages on hand for our friends and family that came and went all afternoon.  At the end of the day your stomach might not be enjoying the 3 or 5 too many deep fried treats you had but you have a smile on your face because of the memories created.

You probably have your own too.  It might be watching a special movie from your childhood, or family hockey game, whatever it is, don’t let the “ba-humbug” feeling take root, get out of the Laze-boy chair and make some memories of your own.

Below is an interesting video of various traditions around the world.  It would be interesting to spend the next 20 Christmases visiting these countries and experience these traditions first hand.  Grab a tea or coffee and have a look.

From all of us here at Dwyer Mfg,

we wish you all the best of this special season of Good Will to All Man.

History of Big Dutchman

dwyer-d

Dec 14, 2016

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

The History of Big Dutchman 

Dwyer has been selling and servicing Big Dutchman’s computerized liquid feeding systems for 11 years.  A lot has changed during that time here at Dwyer’s but it’s only a small part of Big Dutchman’s 78 years of history.

Big Dutchman has an interesting history that spans a number of countries.  Basically, it’s a German company started in the United States by Dutch immigrant brothers.

Continue reading for the full story.  Thanks to www.bigdutchman.com for the information.

New products coming from Big Dutchman are PRRS air inlet filters and repairable LED lighting designed for agriculture conditions.  Stay tuned for more information on these items and more.





1938dewitt-history

Brothers Richard (Dick) and Jack DeWitt, whose parents emigrated from the Netherlands to the U.S., started the company that would become Big Dutchman. The business started as a hatchery and expanded to include the production of broilers and turkeys. As growers looking for more efficient ways to raise their flocks, they designed the Big Dutchman feeder. Pictured: Jack and Dick DeWitt

 

1948

Model A (round body) chain feeder launched and sold under the “Big Dutchman” product name. At this time the company was called “Automatic Poultry Feeder Co.” It was sold in the beginning of 1949 to Mr. Carson Lamberson, of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. With its revolutionary chain feed carrying concept, it became the first automated poultry feeder produced on a commercial scale.

 

 

1951history-big-d2

New manufacturing plant, Washington Ave., Zeeland, Michigan.

Picture: Big Dutchman location on Washington Ave.

1954

Name of company changed to Big Dutchman, Inc.

1958

Josef Meerpohl, a poultry farmer from Calveslage in Lower Saxony, Germany, joins the company as the head of sales for that country.

1959

Company’s first overseas operation is opened in the Netherlands, also under the responsibility of Josef Meerpohl.

1968

New complex inaugurated on Franklin St., Zeeland, Michigan. Founders sell the company to US Industries.

1978

Josef Meerpohl acquires Big Dutchman’s German operations.

Pictured: Big Dutchman Germany, Vechta, Gmbhistory-big-d

1985

The Meerpohl family acquires Big Dutchman from Hanson Trust, with rights on the brand for all of the world except the Americas. Under the new ownership, the Big Dutchman brand rapidly grows as a truly global organization.

 

1999

The Meerpohl family acquires the totality of Big Dutchman.

 

 2013

Big Dutchman celebrates its 75 year anniversary in 2013.




Pig Barn Winter Ventilation

dwyertransparent

Jan 4, 2017

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

Winter Ventilation in Pig Barns 

As herdsmen(women) we have been entrusted with the day to day well-being of the staff, who work each day in the barns and the animals in our care.

During cold Canadian winters, providing quality air in the grower and finisher rooms can seem like a balancing act between clean air and energy costs.  For the sake of you and your staff  and the health and performance of your animals, proper air quality should be basic fact.

Here are a few points to think about:ammonia-graphic

  • If you breathe uncomfortably while in a pig room, or the room has visible vapour, barn workers health is at risk and the pigs are struggling too.  More often there can also be conditions where you can’t tell if ammonia (NH3) levels are elevated but if exposed to too much ammonia for an extended period of time, respiratory problems can occur.

    • From an paper from Dr. C. Dewey, B. Cox and J. Leyenaar.  Increased incidence of chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, irritation of the eyes………. can be experience in areas with ammonia (NH3) concentrations as low as 7 ppm.  Ammonia is expected to stay in the upper respiratory tract.  However, ammonia can adhere to dust particles and then will be carried to the smaller airways, causing more serious problems.

    • Citing Harry Huffman’s comments at the 2009 London Swine Conference.  Ammonia gas is released from the pig’s manure and should be kept at less than 20 parts per million.  Additionally, the relative humidity in the barn should be less than 70 percent.

From this information the question comes to mind:  how do we measure ammonia and humidity levels so we can manage our barn’s ventilation system to provide clean air without using too much heat?

  • Ammonia testammonia-test-strip

    • Paper test strips and Detector Tubes are available on-line or we can source them for you.

      • Directions for use are on the back of the ammonia strips package.

        • 1. Tear off a 2-inch piece of ammonia strip.

        • 2. Wet 1 inch of the strip with clean/distilled water.

        • 3. Wave the strip near animal level for 20 to 30 seconds.

        • 4. Wait 15 seconds and compare the strip color with the color chart on package.

      • Another low cost ammonia test with accuracy within 20% is called Colorimetric Tube or Detector Tube.colorimetric-tube

        • Use the provided air pump to draw air through the glass tube.

        • The chemical inside the tube will change colour

        •  Like a thermometer, you read ppm of ammonia on scale printed on tube.

        • There is also a passive detector tube that stays in place for up to 24 hours and reads an average ammonia level.

  • Humidity:  a basic humidity tester can be found at most hardware stores.  Place it in the room close to pig level during the test period.

You and your staff will quickly acclimatize to the smells of ammonia so it’s important to not just depend on the simple nose test as your air quality method.

When setting your minimum ventilation for your pigs rooms, remember the health benefits of cleaner air are more important then a few dollars in heating costs.

 

 

 

Reducing Feed Wastage

dwyerclear

Dec 28, 16

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

Reducing Feed Wastage

If pigs prices are up or down, if corn / soybean prices are up or down, it’s always a good idea to look at your feed delivery process to remove any wastage.

One or two small reductions in your feed wastage can result in significant dollars in your pocket.

Any of us would bend-over to pick up a $5 bill, imagine finding that $5 bill every day simply by bending over to adjust a few self feeders.

A quality New Year’s resolution would be to print this list and implement a few of them during the upcoming cold months and notice how your feed bill stretches a little further.

Check list on whole farm feed wastage areas:

  • Spillage at bin during filling.  Make sure your blow pipe is secure and without holes.  Do what you have to do to keep fines to a minimum.  Spilled feed attracts rodents.

  • Spillage and moisture in storage and unloading systems.  A little silicon goes a long way to stop moisture getting in.  If it’s beyond repair, contact us for a stainless steel flex and solid auger options that will serve you for many years.

  • Self Feeder:

    • Use a well designed self feeder that is easily adjusted and allows for proper water/feed mixing.  Dwyer Mfg can source a feeder to fit your needs.self-feeder

    • Insure there are enough feeding spaces for the pigs to eat with limited competition.

    • Even distribution of feed along the feeder.

    • Position of feeder in the pen so

      • The feeder is closer to the sleeping area, not the dunging area.  Manure in the feeder will always reduce intake and increase wastage.

      • it can be easily inspected from the passageway.

    • Locate the drinker so it can be reached but not played with and flood out the feeder pan.

    • A covered feeder is best to minimize dust in the room, reduce moisture and rodents from spoiling the feed. Include a see through area so feed can still be inspected.  Dwyer Mfg is a good source of PVC board.

    • Keep the feeder well maintained so it can be adjusted and no holes or cracks leak feed out.

    • Have feed available when the pigs enter the barn.  A detail that helps reduce lag in consumption that happens when pigs are moved.

    • Clean out your feeders thoroughly between batches.  Design your system so the feeder can be flipped upside down to really clean it out.

    • Don’t over-fill the feeders, especially when pigs first enter the barn.  Pigs will waste stale feed to find fresher.

  • Grind feed ingredients properly.  An average of 700 microns has been documented to be best.  Dwyer can do a particle test for you and provide you with a quality stainless hammer  mill.

  • Using multi-phase rations will give your pigs the correct nutrition as their needs change.  Every breed and farm can be unique, so conduct some tests to see what works best at your place. Dwyer Mfg can source or build you an affordable pig and feed weighing system.

  • Use some creep feed during the piglet’s last stage in the farrowing room.  It will ready their gut for solid food in the nursery barn. Conduct creep-feederyour own trials to find out how to fine-tune this to your system.  Dwyer Mfg has plastic and stainless creep feeders or piglet rescue decks.

  • Carefully feed a farrowing sow to meet her needs during lactation and during the first week back in the breeding barn.  Uneaten feed is a direct waste that turns moldy and attracts flies.

  • Having a “hospital” or recovery pen is a great idea but make sure the feeder is designed properly for the sick pigs that will be using it.  Keep the feed fresh and accessible. Dwyer can custom build a Stainless trough feeder for any size pig.

  • Keep rodents and birds out of the barn as best you can.  Screen naturally ventilated barns and put an anti-rodent program in place. It’s best to make it someone’s regular job or it’ll never get done. Put poison in short pieces of 2 or 3 inch pipe along the walls where rodents travel.  OMAFRA’s fact sheet on rodents CLICK HERE

  • Non-pregnant sows: It is essential that all sows 6 weeks post-mating are actually pregnant. A sow which is discovered not to be pregnant in week 16 of ‘gestation’ has just consumed 175 kg (2.5x7x10) of feed since mating. On many farms, this can be as many as 7% of sows. On a 250-sow unit, this is accounts for 3 tonnes of sow feed a year.

  • Cull sows:  Once the decision to cull a sow is made, ensure that she is culled as soon as possible. Cull sows are eating 2.5 kg a day.

  • Feeding finishing pigs prior to slaughter:  To feed a pig immediately prior to slaughter, wastes 2.5 kg per pig sold. Limit transport shrinkage by providing lots of water leading up to shipping.

  • Overweight finishing pigs:  Finishing pigs must be weighed and sold into the slaughterhouse matrix. Outside the box, the pig becomes extremely expensive.  Not only do they not earn the extra feed they have consumed, but they are going to result in a penalty at the slaughterhouse, reducing their return.  Dwyer Mfg can supply weighing systems that mark and sort pigs that meet the weight settings.

  • Review culling of runt pigs: Pigs which are born small and/or are weaned as a runt, should have their survivability carefully reviewed. Small, weak born piglets have poor FCR rate and increased mortality rate.  The feed cost of these animals needs careful review.

  • Air temperature and comfort:  Ensure that you keep the pigs within their thermo-comfort zone. If the pigs are housed too cold, feed will be consumed to help keep the pig warm.

The chart below shows clearly how feed wastage adds up in a hurry.

feed-wastage-chart

Note: this report is in Australian dollars.  Currently $1 CND = $1.03 Australian

Thanks to The Pig Journal UK. Pig Veterinary Society for base of this blog.

http://www.thepigsite.com/pigjournal/articles/2169/management-practices-to-reduce-expensive-feed-wastage/

 

happy-new-year

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy of the Season

dwyertransparent

Dec 21, 2016

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

Joy of the Season

With the kids all out on their own, the “ba-humbug” part of me comes out much more easily.  It’s hard to go to that place with kids around the house brimming with excitement about the tree going up, wrapping presents and getting a bunch of play time with no school.  For parents it great watching the kids get along more then usual.  They plan activities together out in the snow or get out a favorite game to play together.  The older ones are more inclined to help the younger ones do things like get mom and dad’s present ready or get the toboggans ready for an afternoon of adventure out on a hill.

It seems the switch that turns the tree’s lights on also turns on the spirit of the season for me and probably lots of others.

Below is a nice video aimed at kids, but good for everyone, to learn how different cultures around the world celebrate this special season.  What struck me from this video is how there are many different traditions around the world but there is a common thread that connects us all, this is a time we all work to be nicer to our fellow man.

 

We all have family traditions around the Christmas season.  With Dutch roots in my family, we give out chocolate letters and make deep fried oliebollen and appleflappen.

Last year we set up a deep fryer in the garage, cooked up some dutch pastry and had various beverages on hand for our friends and family that came and went all afternoon.  At the end of the day your stomach might not be enjoying the 3 or 5 too many deep fried treats you had but you have a smile on your face because of the memories created.

You probably have your own too.  It might be watching a special movie from your childhood, or family hockey game, whatever it is, don’t let the “ba-humbug” feeling take root, get out of the Laze-boy chair and make some memories of your own.

Below is an interesting video of various traditions around the world.  It would be interesting to spend the next 20 Christmases visiting these countries and experience these traditions first hand.  Grab a tea or coffee and have a look.

From all of us here at Dwyer Mfg,

we wish you all the best of this special season of Good Will to All Man.

History of Big Dutchman

dwyer-d

Dec 14, 2016

By Gilbert VandenHeuvel

The History of Big Dutchman 

Dwyer has been selling and servicing Big Dutchman’s computerized liquid feeding systems for 11 years.  A lot has changed during that time here at Dwyer’s but it’s only a small part of Big Dutchman’s 78 years of history.

Big Dutchman has an interesting history that spans a number of countries.  Basically, it’s a German company started in the United States by Dutch immigrant brothers.

Continue reading for the full story.  Thanks to www.bigdutchman.com for the information.

New products coming from Big Dutchman are PRRS air inlet filters and repairable LED lighting designed for agriculture conditions.  Stay tuned for more information on these items and more.





1938dewitt-history

Brothers Richard (Dick) and Jack DeWitt, whose parents emigrated from the Netherlands to the U.S., started the company that would become Big Dutchman. The business started as a hatchery and expanded to include the production of broilers and turkeys. As growers looking for more efficient ways to raise their flocks, they designed the Big Dutchman feeder. Pictured: Jack and Dick DeWitt

 

1948

Model A (round body) chain feeder launched and sold under the “Big Dutchman” product name. At this time the company was called “Automatic Poultry Feeder Co.” It was sold in the beginning of 1949 to Mr. Carson Lamberson, of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. With its revolutionary chain feed carrying concept, it became the first automated poultry feeder produced on a commercial scale.

 

 

1951history-big-d2

New manufacturing plant, Washington Ave., Zeeland, Michigan.

Picture: Big Dutchman location on Washington Ave.

1954

Name of company changed to Big Dutchman, Inc.

1958

Josef Meerpohl, a poultry farmer from Calveslage in Lower Saxony, Germany, joins the company as the head of sales for that country.

1959

Company’s first overseas operation is opened in the Netherlands, also under the responsibility of Josef Meerpohl.

1968

New complex inaugurated on Franklin St., Zeeland, Michigan. Founders sell the company to US Industries.

1978

Josef Meerpohl acquires Big Dutchman’s German operations.

Pictured: Big Dutchman Germany, Vechta, Gmbhistory-big-d

1985

The Meerpohl family acquires Big Dutchman from Hanson Trust, with rights on the brand for all of the world except the Americas. Under the new ownership, the Big Dutchman brand rapidly grows as a truly global organization.

 

1999

The Meerpohl family acquires the totality of Big Dutchman.

 

 2013

Big Dutchman celebrates its 75 year anniversary in 2013.




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