Development with the Danes
Recently, we have installed our Dutch Pro Dromi® farrowing system in the Danish Pig Research Centre. Along with several other types of free range farrowing systems, research will be done to test differences and success factors of these farrowing pens.
Of course nothing has been set in stone yet, but as things stand now, the Danish pig farmers have to switch to free range farrowing systems by 2035. Even though it seems far away, the Danes have less than 20 years to switch to a new system. Moreover, the legislation can be accelerated when more than 10% of the farrowing pens in Denmark has been adjusted. That is why they are addressing the transition thoroughly.
At Vereijken, we believe that such a transition can only work when it is driven by market demand, rather than enforced by law, because farmers need to be able to earn back their large investments. Nevertheless, these investments will have to be made and the Danes are considering them carefully by creating a testing facility. This facility houses eight different free range farrowing systems, including one room with eight of our Pro Dromi® pens. Last month we travelled to Denmark and within two days we built and installed all of them. Right now, the pens are already inhabited by the sows and the research centre is open for visitors.
Different farrowing system
At the Danish Pig Research Centre, our farrowing system is different from the others and is therefore scrutinized more carefully. With 6.5 square meters, our pens are among the largest there (1 square meter larger than the Danish pens). These measurements gave us the best experiences, but we also believe that they will become the European standard in the future. An important fact to take into account, especially for exporting countries. In addition to the measurements, the ventilation is different in our pens as well. The air enters the Pro Dromi® pen via an underground vent, making it nice and cool for the sow, while the other farrowing systems at the research centre get their fresh air out from under the roof. Now, it is up to the Danish Pig research Centre to investigate the differences.
The Netherlands and Denmark: strong together
The cooperation with Denmark was very pleasant. In many ways, the Danish farmers have a similar mentality as the Dutch: productivity and efficiency are top priority. Approximately 75% of the Danish pigs is exported, which is roughly the same amount of pigs which is exported from the Netherlands, even though Denmark has a smaller population. The Dutch and Danes can probably learn a lot from each other. With the knowledge that will be generated with this research, both countries can develop their farrowing systems even further and keep their standing as innovative competing players.
In these blogs, we will keep you updated on the findings and developments from this research. Already curious about the Danish Pig Research Centre? Click here for our photo coverage of the installation process.
PS: the construction of the Pro Dromi® farm at the Nijhof’s is progressing fast! Click here for our coverage of it.