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Concrete Inspection in Swine Buildings
Concrete is a significant financial cost in every modern swine building. The concrete pit, foundation, columns, beams, and slats are structural parts that should last 25-100 years, but if structural failures occur, they can be catastrophic to livestock and their caretakers. This publication discusses inspection and maintenance for the major components of a swine building, including visual references.
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Field Tips for Successful Composting
This publication provides best practices for composting swine carcasses.
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Enhancing the Longevity and Function of Swine Building Components
Proper maintenance of swine facilities can enhance the lifespan of building components and improve the health and safety of both livestock and workers. Such maintenance should be carefully planned and budgeted. This publication discusses design, installation, and maintenance recommendations for common components of swine facilities, including curtains, insulation, and electrical systems.
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Swine Building Ventilation System Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tools
Maintenance of ventilation system components is often overlooked; however, keeping up with proper maintenance can lower operating costs, preserve mechanical efficiency, improve the animal and worker environment in the building, and reduce the risk of system failure.
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Gable End Attic Air Intakes for Swine Building Ventilation
Fresh air intake and distribution in a swine ventilation system is critical to providing a good environment for animals, but can have a negative impact on building longevity with certain designs. Air generally will flow into the attic to supply fresh air to the production room ceiling air inlets. A typical design brings air into the attic through soffit intakes at the eave. However, this design can negatively impact the building by contributing to corrosion and deterioration of metal.
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Chicken Clucker -- On the Go Lesson
Iowa is a diverse agriculture state and is the top producer in corn, soybeans, swine, and eggs in the nation! Iowa hens laid nearly 16 billion eggs each year. That means Iowa farmers are responsible for producing about one in 5 eggs consumed in the United States each year. Create a device that creates a "clucking" sound.

These To Go Lessons can be used to create a "grab and go" style activity with supplies included. Add your local contact information, print, and cut each sheet in half. The left side can be used on the outside of the paper bag or box to identify the activity, and the right side can be placed in the package as an instruction sheet.

Clover Kids lessons are designed for youth in grades K-3.

Youth-serving organizations in Iowa are encouraged to contact their local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office to explore partnership opportunities in administering this program.
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Swine Project Area Guide
In the swine project area, you can learn about breeds, health care, production, management, showmanship, marketing, and careers in the swine industry.
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Biosecurity and Health Management by U.S. Pork Producers - 2017 Survey Summary
In 2017, Iowa State University, in collaboration with state pork producer associations, conducted a comprehensive survey of swine producers. The objectives of the survey were to document swine industry characteristics, biosecurity adoption, and how risks to swine health factor into producer decision making. Completed surveys from 371 anonymous producers from 19 U.S. states were received. This summary provides an overview of the survey results.
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Common Swine Industry Audit Workshop notebook
This 129-page notebook has dual purpose: to prepare swine producers for the Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) and a collection point to organize and store the necessary documentation in one place.

Chapters 1 through 4 provide advance preparation for an audit. The complete CSIA booklet is included. Conveniently assembled into a 3-ring binder, 31 tabbed sections provide instructions and a structure for organizing resources.
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Iowa Farm Transition Case Studies: Loomis Family Farm Transition
The Loomis family from northern Iowa has recently completed a successful family farm business transition to the next generation. The transition of their row crop and swine farm spanned the first 22 years of the younger generation's farming career, was well planned and implemented gradually.

This case study highlights the transition planning process and timeline, tools used, the older generation's estate plan, lessons learned, and the Loomis's advice for other farm families considering a farm business transition. Questions about the family's current situation and possible future of the farm are included for family or classroom discussions.
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Hydrogen Sulfide Safety - Swine Barn Ventilation
This publication discusses the importance of hydrogen sulfide safety when dealing with swine barn ventilation. It provides information on ventilation strategy for both curtain-sided and tunnel-ventilated barns.
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Swine Industry Module
The learning objectives are as follows: Recognize how the swine industry is divided. Differentiate between management strategies at each stage of swine production. Explain different types of housing used for swine production. Explain different feeding practices for each life stage within the swine industry. Describe major diet components used for swine for each life stage. This grain module is brought to you by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, and was produced by the former Crop Adviser Institute.

Click here to access the Swine Industry Module



Learning objective: Understand how the swine industry is organized. Differentiate between management strategies and housing types used in swine production.

Introduction: The swine industry is highly integrated and has found many non-meat uses for swine by-products. In order to protect animals and keep food and by-products safe, swine operations have high biosecurity measures in place.

Animal flow: There are two major animal flow processes utilized in the swine industry: continuous and all-in-all-out. Continuous operations constantly have pigs moving into, within, and off the operation. All-in-all-out operations will completely empty housing facilities for cleaning and disinfecting before the next group of pigs arrive.

Personnel: Personnel required on a grow/finish operation include a farm site manager and a stockperson. The personnel required for a farrowing operation includes a sow farm manager, a breeding and gestation lead, a farrowing lead, and a nursery lead with stockpersons working under each lead position. A farrow to finish site will have each of the employees required for grow/finish and farrowing operations.

Housing types: Pigs can be housed in confinements or outdoors. Confinement housing is in climate controlled buildings that have proper temperature, ventilation, and lighting. Outdoor housing for swine consists of outdoor pens and hoop buildings that provide shelter from harsh weather conditions. The labor input for outdoor facilities is much higher, and the growth and conception rates are lower than those in confinement operations.

Supporting information:
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Farm Energy: Case Studies - Benchmarking Energy Usage for Swine Producers
Understanding energy consumption in swine facilities can help managers know how much energy is being used and how much should be used. Tools for calculating optimal energy use are included in the publication, as well as tips for what to do if usage is higher than the suggested goals.
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An Introduction to Animal Husbandry and Nutrition
This educational document is a collaborative project between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH), Iowa State University to provide a brief introduction of basic animal husbandry and nutrition. This material is intended for readers with little background in livestock production. The information will focus on some customary management and husbandry practices in commercial production facilities for swine, cattle and poultry. In addition, information is included on horses, sheep and goats.
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Conserving energy by using localized heating in swine housing - Farm Energy
Using heat lamps, heat mats, and brooders for localized heating can improve energy efficiency in swine housing. Learn about small adjustments and management considerations for implementing localized heating.
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Managing swine ventilation controller settings to save energy - Farm Energy
Ventilation is by far the largest source of heating energy loss in swine facilities. To maintain air quality, it is essential to provide proper minimum ventilation without losing excessive energy from the building. Learn how modern controllers interlock equipment operation to avoid conflicts that waste energy.
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Sizing Minimum Ventilation to Save Heating Energy in Swine Housing - Farm Energy
Wasted heating energy due to over-ventilation is a costly problem for hog producers. Proper sizing of ventilation and use of variable speed fans can improve energy efficiency.
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Energy Efficient Fans for Swine Production - Farm Energy
Ventilation fans are the driving force behind the exchange of air that is necessary to create a healthy environment for animals and farm employees.
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Ventilate Your Swine Nursery Building
This publication has practical, accurate, basic information on ventilating swine nursery buildings. Find out how much air is needed, heating needs, winter ventilation control, pit ventilation, pre-heating ventilation air, and more.
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Composting Swine Mortalities in Iowa
Swine producers have found that composting is a flexible and reasonably priced disposal method that can be used year round. Find out about facilities and equipment, procedures, and regulations.
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Flat Bottom Gravity Drain Gutters for Swine Manure
One way to avoid long-term storage of manure in swine buildings is to use gravity drain gutters to remove manure to outside storage. This publication deals specifically with flat bottom gutters.
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Nipple Waterers for Swine
Nipple waterers are popular because they do not foul as easily as cup or bowl waterers. The flow rate needs to be monitored to determine if it is within the flow need for satisfactory water intake.
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Record Keeping Lifetime Record Swine
This editable PDF can be filled out online, saved, and then printed; or it can be printed and completed manually. For more information visit our webpage on using 4-H forms and documents.
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Swine System Options for Iowa - Sustainable Agriculture
Learn about Swedish deep-bedded group nursing systems for feeder pig production.
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Feeding Small Grains to Swine
Barley, oats, rye, triticale, and wheat can be useful in swine feeding programs. This publication provides guidelines common to inclusion of these grains in swine diets, information specific to the feeding of each grain to the various swine classes, and summarized guidelines.
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Swine Breeding and Gestation Facilities Handbook
Swine Breeding and Gestation Facilities Handbook is a great resource where producers and builders can learn everything needed to plan, construct, and manage a swine breeding and gestation facility.

Contents
  • Housing Management Options
  • Building Layout and Equipment
  • Manure Handling
  • Environmental Control Systems
  • Utilities
More than 90 figures, photographs, and tables plus 11 examples complement the text. Five breeding herd inventory worksheets and a boar usage chart complete the book.
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Mechanical Ventilation Design Worksheet for Swine Housing
Proper ventilation design helps ensure healthy and productive animals, healthy employees, and an efficient facility. This worksheet is intended to guide you through a simplified procedure for selecting the components of a ventilation system.
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Supplemental Ventilation Systems for Modified, Open-front Swine Buildings
Poor ventilation in modified open-front buildings often causes pigs to give less than optimal performance. Read about and view figures of how to modify open-front buildings.
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Swine Nursery Facilities Handbook
Topics include
  • Housing and management options
  • Building layout and equipment
  • Manure handling systems
  • Environmental control systems
  • Utilities, and safety
More than 50 drawings and photographs of building layouts and equipment—including configurations for manure handling systems and designs for environmental control systems—tables and examples are included.
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Thermal Environmental Guidelines for Swine Housing - Livestock Industry Facilities and Environment
Optimal temperature ranges for pigs through the life cycle.
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Swine Farrowing Handbook
Planning, design factors, animal environment, manure management, utilities, construction, and remodeling are major topics of this work.

Concepts from nine MWPS farrowing building plans plus space use guidelines, layout alternatives, and construction techniques are featured.
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Mechanical Ventilating Systems for Livestock Housing
Mechanical Ventilating Systems for Livestock Housing is a complete guide that will help in evaluating existing systems. It looks at alternative systems, and has a section on troubleshooting to help diagnose problems.

Handbook includes
  • air requirements
  • insulation
  • fan types
  • controls
  • maintenance
Applications and examples are provided for beef, dairy, calves, equine, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine.
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Swine Growing Finishing Building
 28’ x 80’ monoslope, modified open-front building to house about 240 pigs. Three plans are included.
  • Plan A shows a 10’ wide by 8’ deep manure pit under slats.
  • Plan B shows a 10’ wide flush gutter under slats.
  • Plan C shows a 5’ wide open flush gutter. Natural ventilation.
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Raised Deck Swine Nurseries
Two 24’ x 22’ and 24’ x 46’ stud-frame swine nursery buildings with year-round mechnical ventilation. Two plans are included. Plan A is an early-wean nursery for 160 pigs from 10-30 lb (3-8 weeks). Plan B is a late-wean nursery for 160 pigs from 15-75 lb (5-12 weeks). A single gravity drain gutter is shown along the back of each row of decks.
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33'x92' Swine Gestation Building
This plan is for a 33' x 92' stud-frame building housing 120 gestating sows in individual stalls. Mechanical ventilation is provided in cold weather. Options include flush gutters or pit manure storage.
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33'x60' Swine Breeding Building
Plan is for a 33' x 60' stud-frame building housing stimulus stalls, a holding pen, a breeding area, boar pens and gilt pens. Building has year-round mechanical ventilation and totally slotted floors with liquid manure storage.
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Two Rows of Stalls, 48 Sows -- Swine Gestation Building
Two rows of stalls, 48 sows. This plan is a 24’ x 54’ (or 56’) stud-frame building housing 48 gestations sows in individuals stalls. Mechanical ventilation is provided in cold weather ventilation doors are opened for natural ventilation in warm weather. Plan A shows a totally slotted floor with pit manure storage Plan B show 30’’ slats over flush gutters at the rear of the stalls.
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24'x60' Swine Breeding Building
This plan is for a 24’ x 60’ stud-frame building with 10 stimulus stalls, 8 boar pens, a sow-gilt pen, and a sow holding pen. Year-round mechanical ventilation, totally slotted floors, and liquid manure storage are provided.
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Group Pens, 48 Sows -- Swine Gestation Building
Group pens, 48 sows. This plan is for a 24’ x 54’ pole-frame building housing 48 gestation sows in group pens.
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Four Rows of Stalls, 192 Sows -- Swine Gestation Building
Four rows of stalls, 192 sows. This plan is for a 42’ x 108’ (or 110’) stud-frame building housing 192 gestation sows in individual stalls. Mechanical ventilation is provided in cold weather, ventilation doors are opened for natural ventilation in warm weather. Plan A shows a totally slotted floor with pit manure storage. Plan B shows 30’ slats over flush gutters at the rear of each row of stalls.
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Swine Finishing Unit
Open shed with lot, 100 pigs. This plan is for a 16’ x 32’ pole-frame open shed with an outdoor lot. The unit houses 100 pigs-about 12 litters-but can be lengthened.
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Modified Open Front Swine Finishing Building
Partly slotted floors, 168 pigs. This plan is for a 24’ x 56’ (or 64’) pole-frame building housing three 8-pig litters in each of 7 pens for a total of 21 litters or 168 pigs. Plan A shows a 10’ wide by 8’ deep manure storage pit under slats. Plan B shows a 10’ wide by 1’ deep flushed gutter under slats. Ventilation: Open front and ridge vents provide natural ventilation for the building. The open front can be closed down with doors, or rolled curtains.
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Off Center Alley Swine Finishing House
Off-center alley, 320 pigs. This plan is for a 32’ x 80’ (or 84’) stud-frame building housing 320 pigs (about 40 litters). Plan A shows 6’ and 10’ slats over 8’ deep pits for in building manure storage. Plan B shows 4’ slats over flushed pits. Plan C shows open gutters that are flushed from two siphon-flush tanks. Ventilation: open front and ridge vents provide natural ventilation for this building. The open front can be closed down with doors, or rolled curtains.
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Open Shed with Lot - Swine Gestation Unit
Open shed with lot. This plan is for a 16’ x 40’ pole-frame open shed with an outdoor lot. The unit houses about 60 sows. An optional layout shows how the unit can be expanded to provide for breeding and to house boars. This plan is for the producer who wants to get more of his operation off pasture and out of the mud, but who does not want the high investment of an enclosed building. This unit is suitable for farrowing up to about 8 times per year in a 20-sow farrowing house.
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Swine Gestation Building, Modified Open Front
Modified open front. This plan is for a 28’ x 48’ pole-frame building housing gestating sows for a 20-sow farrowing house. The plan is intended to house sows in a production system with a 20-sow farrowing house. Breeding with 12-sow units allows for the typical 20% excess to enough bred sows to fill the farrowing house. The buildings shown in Plans A, B, and C have four pens of 12 gestating sows each, one pen for gilts, and replacement sows, and one pen for equipment feed cart, sick sows, etc. Separate breeding facilities are needed.
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