Swine flooring should be designed, constructed, and maintained so as not to cause injury or suffering to the pigs standing on it. The objective of flooring is to provide a durable, comfortable surface with good traction. Flooring must also be suitable for the size and weight of pigs and must form a rigid, even, and stable surface. Manure and urine should easily filter through the slots in order to maintain cleanliness. Flooring that is easy to clean increases labor productivity and reduces transmission of diseases.
A farrowing floor should be cool for the sow and warm for the little pigs. Cast iron under the sow is cool and Filter-Eeze® polypropylene in the creep area is warm. The cast iron provides excellent traction for the sow, is durable yet comfortable, minimizes possible teat and foot damage, helps prevent abrasions, and cleans well. The plastic in the creep area is non-conductive and does not rob body heat from the little pigs.
Combination flooring systems are superior because the cooler cast iron surface is preferred by the sows and the warmer polypropylene is preferred by the pigs. Therefore, the pigs tend to spend most of their time on the warmer surface and away from the sow, resulting in fewer crush deaths. They also experience less chilling and fewer diseases and scours with Filter-Eeze® polypropylene flooring. This flooring combination provides thermal comfort for both the sow and her pigs.
Thermal Comfort Flooring Proven to Be Cost Effective
The first 24 hours after birth is the most critical time for little piglets. Pigs born at the 102 degree warmth of the sow coming into a farrowing room of 70 degrees or less are very susceptible to heat loss.
Younger pigs require a warmer and cleaner floor than do older pigs. This is because younger pigs have a less-developed immune system and require warmer temperatures. Younger pigs are more easily chilled and more susceptible to disease.
Chilled young pigs have reduced resistance to disease, are drowsy, and often fail to suckle properly. As a result, they run a higher risk of being laid on by the sow or really never getting that good nursing start. Little pigs have no fat to keep them warm. The only heat gain a pig has is through its intake. Heat loss, however, comes from a combination of cold structure surfaces, air temperature, drafts, and the flooring material the pig is constantly in contact with. The greater the heat loss, the more feed it will take to offset that loss and produce gains.
The thermal comfort flooring from Double L is very energy efficient. The temperature in the room can actually be turned down 5 degrees and still maintain a comfortable environment for the pigs.
Before you purchase any flooring, lay your hand on it. If it feels warm to you, it will feel warm to your pigs. Flooring that feels cold to the touch will zap body heat from the animals. Cast iron and polypropylene provide the thermal comfort needed for maximum growth.
FILTER-EEZE® Flooring Saves Money on Electrical Bill
Filter-Eeze® flooring allows you to drop the temperature level of your facilities by approximately 5 degrees and still maintain a warm and comfortable floor. If you reduce your temperature by 5 degrees you can save energy costs as follows:
Temp. Change % Saved
75 to 70 14.4%
80 to 75 12.6%
85 to 80 11.1%
This is beneficial for the sows too because they do not like it nearly as warm as their babies.
Filter-Eeze® Maxima nursery flooring is made of superior quality polypropylene material which provides a warmth factor that does not rob precious body heat from the little pig. This allows the little pig to turn the feed they eat into pounds and not into fuel to heat their bodies.
Various types of floorings were tested for heat loss using a container sealed in an insulated styrofoam box. The box was open at the bottom, with a heat element on top.
The test measured the amount of energy required to maintain temperature of the water at 102 degrees in still air and in a draft. The temperature of the test room was maintained at 70 degrees.
Filter-Eeze® required the least amount of energy when compared to metal floors. Results of the test showed that Filter-Eeze® required 6.75 watts of energy in still air. Concrete was the worst with 22.5 watts of energy in still air. In a draft, Filter-Eeze® required 10.25 watts and the metal flooring ranged from 18.25 to 22.25 watts with concrete requiring 25 watts of energy.
FILTER-EEZE® Major Advantages Over Metal Type Floors
Manufactured from virgin plastic polypropylene, Filter-Eeze® flooring has several advantages over traditional metal type floors:
- Life of the Product. Polypropylene lasts years longer than metal which is very labor intensive when replacing it with new.
- Plastic is not thermal conductive as compared to any type of metal flooring; therefore, small pigs have a more comfortable environment.
- The cost of maintaining comfortable floor temperature for the pigs is greatly reduced as energy requirements are significantly less. The disadvantage of a product being thermal conductive is that more energy will be required to maintain a comfort level than a non-thermal conductive product. Either the pig’s energy will be spent or the energy cost required to maintain the comfort level will be increased.
Schonlau is the World’s Best Cast Iron and has been on the market for decades. It’s the only cast iron in the world that’s manufactured using the “open mold process”. There are no part lines since the process uses a one piece mold. Other molds consist of two pieces (a bottom and a top), which results in part lines with sharp edges. Independent German institutes confirm there is 6% less teat injuries compared to the competition. This is why Europe’s biggest companies use Schonlau. Schonlau cast iron slats have outperformed all other sow flooring on the market.
The combined system of Schonlau cast iron under the sow and Maxima polypropylene in the creep area is a nearly perfect floor and is recommended by many producers. The cast iron is cool for the sow and uncomfortable for the little pigs so they are inclined to stay off of it and less likely to get crushed. Producers reported they save at least one pig per litter from a crush death, making the combination system very cost effective.
PermaBeam – Best Foundation for your Flooring System!
Know the facts when purchasing support beams. Double L’s fiberglass PermaBeam is the strongest beam on the market. The lateral design stiffener provides a straighter beam and reduces base rollover. The competition has no added strength. The PermaBeam base is 1.75” wide for better stability compared to the competition at 1.25”. Competitive beams look similar to Double L’s PermaBeam but they do not have the same strength and durability. To be sure you are getting the best beam, look for the red line near the top signifying the Double L mark of quality.