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Greenwald: Sow Stall Barn to Loose Housing Remodel


Kevin Kurbis

New Standard Ag took on a renovation project located at Greenwald Colony, in Brokenhead, Manitoba, Canada.  The renovations started in early January 2020. Before renovations, it was servicing 1200 head of sow. The crew and the client worked to get the barn fully empty in March. Renovations were completed and filled with sows at the beginning of August 2021. This was a great example of the fine eye for detail, taking advantage of space, and utilizing the whole facility to its full potential.

Barn Facts

loose sow housing barn tour

  • Originally designed as a 1,200 head sow barn
  • Gestation stalls with old technology, trying to avoid aggression in sows (spindle metal side frame)
  • Food dispensed in a trough along with water
  • slatted concrete flooring to solid concrete flooring
  • Breeding and gestation separate rooms

Gestation and Farrowing

esf loose sow housing set up

  • 1000+ head of sows
  • Replaced the feed system with an installation of a chain disc on both sides of the barn
  • 4 rows of breeding stalls + additional for overflow
  • New gestation hardware installed (ESF)
  • Batch farrowing every 2 weeks with 100 sow
  • Variety of option styles (crating, penning, loose sow) for batch farrowing; giving sows a max of a week in the crates or penning for breeding
  • Pens installed for sick beds or culls that will be transported out of the barn
  • Separation pen for interaction after sows are bred
  • Gates designed to harness sow from running into areas that they don’t need to be in, and help introduce newly bred sows
  • 17 ESF Feeding Stations installed for bred sows, 1 station ESF for training

Training Room

esf training pens

  • Training in batches of 45-50 gilts, three weeks allotted for each training stage
  • The first stage is pre-training (or self-training)
  • 1 large pen with PanelTIM walling
  • Dry ad-lib feeder on one side and water nipples on the other to promote circulation of pigs moving back and forth in the training pen
  • Gates that are the same as entrance and exit gates mounted into hallways for travel between both sides
  • After the first 2-3 days of familiarization in the pen, the gates are slowly closed over the next few weeks to allow the animals to learn how to operate them
  • The second stage is access to an ESF for 3 weeks to train them to enter, stand and eat inside the station

Other Features

nedap sow weigher in loose sow barn

  • 3 large pens in different square footage depending on sow size for gestation
  • RFID tags with backup information to cloud in case of replacement
  • Sow weigher in each pen to collect data and assist with body conditioning

Construction and Manufacturing

  • Removal of old slats, and replaced with new slat flooring
  • Skinned concrete over troughs
  • Removal of solid concrete with an 8ft pit near the end of each hallway, required only in areas where animals will be traveling regularly
  • Installation of new penning and ESF
  • Installation of new chain feed conveying systems

Screen Shot 2021-10-01 at 11.01.22 AM


Looking to remodel your pig or sow barn to loose sow house and electronic sow feeding? Reach out to our team for a free consult. We look forward to hearing from you. 


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Topics: Sow Behavior, Nedap, ventilation, Gestation, Barn Design


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