Vari Plus lift flooring - Vechta, Germany - Family Schumacher

Results of the Vari Plus lift floor

The challenge

In 15 years time, free farrowing will be obligatory in Germany and sows will require 45% more surface area in the farrowing pen. One of the challenges for pig producers of switching to free farrowing in 12 to 15 years is a higher risk of piglet mortality. If sows have full freedom of movement, piglets can be crushed by the sow. In addition, creating 45% more surface area, means that farmers in Germany will not be able to raise as many piglets. With 3000 sows on the farm, Schumacher is on a constant search for ways to reduce the risks during this transitional period. Their strategy: focus on learning how they ensure a higher number of vital piglets post-weaning. 


Vari Plus lift flooring - Vechta, Germany - Family Schumacher

Project goals

  • Reduce piglet mortality in the first days through our Vari Plus lift flooring 
  • Stay flexible in any future plan with our modular Pro Step flooring 
  • Create a warmer climate for heavier piglets with our climate covers
Vari Plus lift flooring - Vechta, Germany - Family Schumacher

Making it happen

Schumacher: ‘We discovered that you can greatly reduce the risk of piglet mortality by confining the sow for the first five days in free farrowing. A friend of mine started doing this and has managed to reduce piglet mortality in the first five days from 15% to below 10%. In my opinion, a free farrowing crate with lift flooring, where you can confine the sow for the first five days, is the best way to reduce piglet mortality. The lift floor of Vereijken has been proving itself for 15 years. It automatically rises when the sow stands and lowers when she lies down so the piglets can find the teats again. Testing to see if the lift flooring really does reduce piglet mortality for us is the first step.’

Results to be proud of

By using our products Schumacher is transitioning in a smart way. Schumacher: ‘We chose Vereijken because you can reuse 80% of the slats and restructure the flooring when you need to in the future. We’re still dealing with loans used for previous renovations to the crates in 2012, so this helps us to transition in a smart way. Our first step is to see how the Vereijken lift flooring works in the conventional system. After that, we'll convert one space into larger free farrowing pens with lift flooring. If that works, we convert other rooms as well. Because Vereijken products are modular, we can test what works for us and take the next step when we've got all the details right.’

We’re happy to tell you that family Schumacher already reached their goals in the second weaning period. Piglet mortality is under 10% and they’ve weaned 1.5 piglets more per litter than in their pens without the lift flooring. The second weaning period resulted in 15.1 piglets per sow compared to 13.4 piglets per sow before installment. Curious to what our lift flooring can do for you? Contact Ben Voetdijk or Bart Hooijer.

Our solutions

  • Vari Plus lift flooring - Vechta, Germany - Family Schumacher
    • Looking for a custom solution?

      Vereijken Group is specialized in custom farrowing systems. Our specialists are happy to help you!

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