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Characterization of Bedded Pack Temperatures in Swine Hoop Structures

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  024146,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10506) @2002
Authors:   Matthew E. Herzmann, Samy S. Sadaka, Tom L. Richard, Tom A. Matthews
Keywords:   Alternative swine production, animal waste, hoop structures, livestock environment, bedded manure pack

Hoop structures are large arched shelters that have become increasingly popular for swine production. The pigs choose areas to bed and dung dependent on the conditions when they enter the hoop structure. They live on a large volume of bedding material (i.e. cornstalks, bean stubble or other crop residues) and over their growing cycle their excreta and added bedding create a bedded manure pack. This bedded pack undergoes both anaerobic and aerobic decomposition in situ. This in-situ decomposition needs to be understood so it can be better managed to create thermal comfort for the pigs and maximize the available nutrients when applied to cropland as fertilizer. Temperature measurements were taken at 36 locations in the bedded pack every 2 weeks during a summer and winter cycle of finishing pigs. Aerobic decomposition occurred in the sleeping/resting area that generated heat. The added heat created a thermally stable environment for the pigs in the winter months. However, the heat generated can be detrimental in the summer, as temperatures as high as 63oC were observed 20 cm below the surface of the bedded pack. During the summer, bedding rates are lowered and the dunging area expands in the hoop. The high moisture content in the dunging area facilitates anaerobic decomposition and less heat is added to the already warm summer environment.

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