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Alternatives for animal drinking and barn cleaning to reduce water use in swine production operations

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

Citation:  Paper number  131620720,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Bernardo Z Predicala, Alvin C Alvarado, Yaomin Jin
Keywords:   Livestock production water consumption pig drinkers barn cleaning

Abstract. Animal drinking and cleaning are potential activities in swine barns where water saving can be achieved. In this study, selected water conservation strategies involving animal drinking and barn cleaning were assessed for their effectiveness in reducing the overall water use. For animal drinking, three types of drinkers were investigated: nipple (Control), nipple with side panel, and a trough with side panel and constant water level. The drinkers were distributed randomly among pens in a pig room and their impact on water use, water wastage, and pig performance were assessed throughout one complete grow-finish cycle. Results showed that relative to conventional nipple drinkers, the use of a drinking trough with side panel and constant water level saved significant amount of water through reduced water wastage without adversely affecting pig performance. For cleaning, on the other hand, experiments evaluating the effect of the use of water sprinkling (pre-soaking) and different high pressure washing nozzles on water and time consumption in pig rooms with fully slatted flooring and partially slatted flooring revealed that the use of the conventional rotating turbo nozzle led to lesser time and water consumption during high pressure washing. Also, high pressure washing in fully slatted flooring can be done without prior water sprinkling. Economic analysis of the different measures which was conducted after the completion of the experiments showed that compared to current conventional practices, the combination of using a drinking trough with side panel and constant water level for animal drinking and pre-soaking and high pressure washing with conventional nozzle for cleaning had the greatest potential for cost savings of up to C$4.77 per pig arising from reduced overall water use and accumulated manure slurry.

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