#Justask - Frans Lemans

15 December 2020Time: 3 minutes

Do you recognize the posture of your piglets in these photos?

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In that case, according to climate expert Frans Lemans, it's worthwhile taking a look at the outside of your barn. With more than 12 years of experience, Frans Lemans has a reputation in the Netherlands as the ventilation specialist for pig barns. Of almost all the problems in the barn, 65% are caused by wind influences, 30% by air distribution and 5% by the settings of the ventilation equipment. On December 23, you will have the chance to ask Frans Lemans your questions about ventilation in our #JustAsk livestream. The session lasts 20 minutes and starts at 14:30 hrs Central European Time. Vereijken already asked him some questions!

How does wind create issues in my barn?

Frans Lemans: ‘The main focus of pig farmers is often on what goes on inside the barn, but 65% of the problems are caused by wind influences. So, it's important to take a good look at the outside of the buildings first. The best way to assess the indoor climate is to lie down yourself with the piglets. Heat rises, which means that we, as person who is about 6 feet tall, experience the temperature differently to the piglets lying on the slats.’

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But the temperature in my barn is correct, so why is it a problem?

The fans in your barn distribute the air to create an optimal climate for sows and piglets. Air is drawn in from the outside to create a fresh climate inside. However, in strong winds, more air than your fans need is drawn in, so the air distribution pattern is different. This causes drafts, which can cause problems for the sows and piglets.

Frans Lemans: ‘Draft is caused by the temperature difference x air speed. The behavior of the piglets in the photos below shows that even at high temperatures of 32 or 20 °C degrees, piglets and sows can still suffer from drafts if the air speed is different.’

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How does this affect the sows and piglets?

Frans Lemans: ‘Pigs are like people, and people are like pigs. Neither of us likes drafts! Sows become restless and can't sleep calmly. This can lead to aggressive behavior in the barn. Drafts are even worse for piglets. If the piglets have just been born, drafts can lower their body temperature. They will huddle in a corner, so they don't find the udders quickly enough and miss out on all-important colostrum. So even if the temperatures in the barn seem to be OK, the air speed can still cause problems for your piglets.’ 

What can I do about this?

On December 23 Frans Lemans will explain more about what you can do in our live Q&A session. He will use your questions to give solutions. So, do you have questions about ventilation, and the situation in your barn? 

Ask your question today via Facebook Messenger or via the comments under the #Justask post! We will make sure that questions submitted in advance will be discussed on 23 December at 14:30 hrs CET in our 20 minutes #Justask livestream!

Sign up here for the videocall!

Sign up here for the 20 minute #Justask livestream with Hubèrt van Hees and we'll add you to the videocall!

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