The thorough Danish approach
Dutch Pro Dromi farrowing system exhibited in Danish showroom. The Danisch Pig Research Centre researched the differences between farrowing systems.
You may remember our blog about the research project in Denmark, which compared ten different loose house farrowing systems. The various systems are exhibited at the pig farm of Siljeblergaard, and were last year accessible to the public. In amongst all these systems is one Dutch farrowing system: the Pro Dromi®. Last August, more than a year later, we travelled north, curious to find out what research results the Danes had managed to unearth.
It was remarkable to see so many different and clever solutions and details in these systems. Each system has a different focus, after all. It was ever so interesting to be able to make comparisons! For now, the Danish researchers focused on three features: convenience of labour for farmers, sow comfort, and safety for piglets and staff.
Every pig farmer has his preference
Key insight: which system works for whom, is very personal. Take, for instance, a Danish pig farmer. Because Danish sows have larger litters, the farrowing period often takes longer. That is why it is important to carefully monitor the animals and palpate them more often, sometimes with up to 50 to 80% of the sows! During the farrowing process, there is often someone around full time to make sure that everything is going well. This obviously has consequences for the layout of the house: the pig farmer needs to have easy access. There are also various preferences in other areas. Some pig farmers place more value on accessibility of the crate, for instance, while others may want a clear view over the crates, or use the gates in a different way.
Three systems examined more closely
It goes without saying that production process success depends on many different factors. It is not easy to put a finger on what those factors are exactly. There are so many differences between the systems, and every system has its strong and weak points. One of our strong points is the Nanny. It is placed at the front of the pen and is easy to oversee, according to the Danes. If the Nanny is used properly to catch piglets, employees can easily treat and wean them. They don’t need to enter the pen anymore, which improves hygiene and reduces the incidence of disease.
Publication of the results
In January 2018, all the results of the Danisch Pig Research Centre will be presented in a report. We will share these results in an article featuring the first detailed results of the Danish study as soon as possible. Additionally, there will be a follow-up study focusing on two factors that, independent of the type of pen, seem to be of major influence: the floor layout and the house climate. The Danes selected three pens for this research, which will be conducted in the same test house from January onwards.
One of our pens chosen!
When it was announced that one of our pens had been chosen for the second research cluster, we were of course very happy and proud! The Danes appear to be interested in our ground ventilation system. With our systems, the air enters via the basement, so the sows can keep cool, while the Danes bring in the air from under the roof. For the future study, climate is measured automatically with, among other things, ammonia and temperature sensors.
Pro Dromi® 2.0
We immediately started to apply a few insights, one of which resulted in a new Pro Dromi® 2.0 the Classic Combi with more space for birthing aid. In this crate, the setup has been turned 90 degrees.
Keep an eye on our blogs: we’d love to share the other insights with you!
PS: did you know that the Danes have been among the happiest people in the world for three consecutive years now? This is attributed to hygge; a Danish word that can be compared with the Dutch ‘gezelligheid’, meaning cosiness or conviviality. Danish people find happiness in small things; we were always welcomed with cake or a delicious lunch, for example. The Netherlands place seventh in the rankings… We still have a lot to learn from the Danes!