Intelligent Heat System for Weaner and Nurseries

The most heat demanding section is the weaner section. Weaned piglets must not freeze. It costs several days’ growth, often diarrhea and dead piglets. Weaning happens from 3 to 4 weeks of age, and the youngest piglets are the most fragile.

Traditional you have made rooms with the possibility to heat and ventilate at 30°, decreasing the temperature over 3 to 4 weeks to 24°.

25 years ago some countries introduced a cover (canopy) covering one end of the pen (creep area) combined with solid floor and floor heating. The initial temperature went down from 30° to 25° and the final temperature one to two degree lower. The savings on heat was up to 50 %. This system was denoted two-climate-pen.

But why supply heat to piglets the first 3 to 4 weeks while they have no demand for heat the last two weeks in the farrowing section (providing that you have canopies)?

The real difference proved to be the height of the canopy and also that weaned piglets do not take the full feed ration the first 1-2 days. The height in weaner section is approx. 0.7 meter, in farrowing 0.45 meter. A trial adjusting the canopy proved this, because it simply got far too warm in the creep area with the floor heat set to its normal setting.

But as floor heat is very slow reacting it cannot adapt to the cycles with pigs in and out of the creep area. You simply need a faster responding heat system. The heat lamp known in farrowing sections with canopies are fast to respond, and can easily work with intelligent control.

After 1 to 2 weeks the heat demand has gone and the heat is off. It now starts to get too warm in the creep area because of the heat from the pigs, and eventually they move out. They now tend to use the creep area for dunging, which cost more than the energy savings.

The way forward is to lift the canopy, when the infrared sensor records a too high temperature. This increases the exchange of air and cools the creep area. Using infrared sensors has proven to be very reliable and dunging in the creep area when heat and lifting are active do not exist.

Ranges of official test have shown savings in energy consumption of 90 % in addition to improvements in animal performance.

The system has patent pending in major pig producing countries and patents have already been issued.

Leaflet Intelligent Canopy

Officiel test IFIP

Officiel test Porc Amor (French)

Paper at pig conference Paris (English summary)

Video with French Farmer

 

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