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HANDLING AND SORTING PIGS IN LARGE GROUPS HOUSED IN DEEP-LITTER SYSTEMS
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Pp. 196-200 in Swine Housings II Proceedings of the 12-15 October 2003 Conference (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina USA), Publication Date 12 October 2003. 701P1303.(doi:10.13031/2013.15487)
Authors: R. Morrison, and L. Johnston
A handling and sorting system for pigs in large groups raised on deep-litter, has been developed at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris Minnesota. The design of this handling system was based on the knowledge of pig behavioral principles. The purpose of this handling system were to (i) minimize stress to the pigs and stock people whilst handling, (ii) reduce the number of people required to handle and sort pigs raised in large groups and (iii) develop a facility that is economically viable for the producer. The handling and sorting facility consists of a circular tub connected to a chute leading to an individual weighing scale and load out ramp. The pigs enter the circular tub and centrally pivoted swinging gates rotate and push the pigs through the chute. The chute is angled to encourage pig flow, and a weighing scale is located at the end of the chute. The chute has the capacity to facilitate all sizes of pigs from weaners to sows through widening of the chute with additional panels. Once the pigs are weighed they are sorted and loaded. A minimum of two people can operate the facility - one person pushes the pigs through the tub and chute (by operating the central swinging gates in the tub) and the other person weighs and sorts the pigs. Measurements collected in a preliminary study included time to weigh a pen of pigs and the number stockperson interactions with the pigs. This handling facility has been extremely successful in terms of minimizing handling and sorting time. The interest it has generated by pork producers indicates that the facility appears to be economically
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