Part 2: Proper cold weather ventilation crucial in swine facilities

Moderator’s note: This is the second in a two part series on winter ventilation of swine facilities. Click here for part one.

Air exchange is a key part of proper ventilation of a swine facility in cold weather.

The exchange helps improve air quality by removing excess ammonia and respirated moisture from the pigs, according to ThePigSite.com citing Harry Huffman’s comments at the 2009 London Swine Conference.

Ammonia gas is released from the pig’s manure and should be kept at less than 20 parts per million. Additionally, the relative humidity in the barn should be less than 70 percent, according to the article.

Huffman cites two common mistakes of which producers should be aware: not exchanging enough moist air and letting concerns with energy costs keep them from using supplemental heating.

However, producers can run into issues if too much air is expelled from the facility in order to ramp up air exchange as heat can be lost along with the humidity and ammonia. However, there are solutions such as adding a supplemental heat source. This allows exhaust fans to still maintain air exchange while keeping swine facilities warm, according to the article.

To read the full article, click here.

For more tips, check out the Pork Industry Handbook from the Michigan State University Extension here.

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