Farrowing Barn Construction

Construction on our pigs barns is moving along quickly.  The walls are all up and the tin is on the roofs.  When the project is finished we will have four barns in all.  Two barns will be for gestation.  That is where the sows are bred and hang out during their pregnancies.  One barn is for farrowing.  This barn is where the sows will have their piglets and nurse them for around 20 days before the baby pigs are weaned off of the sows.  The final tiny barn is my boar stud.  The boar stud is where the male pigs live.  This barn already exists, and I have continued to work there during construction.  I go in twice a week to collect semen from the boars, add extender to the semen to give it a longer shelf life, and put it in tubes to be used to breed the sows.

The boarstud is getting a makeover during construction, so the boars needed to be moved.  On Wednesday, Brandon loaded up the boars and hauled them up to our existing sow unit.  This will be their temporary home until renovation of the boarstud is complete.  The boars love this new home!  They are surrounded by approximately 1000 females and it appears they are enjoying the hormones in the air.

Yesterday, all of the lab equipment and other supplies necessary for collection were moved to the sow unit.  My daughter Maddie has been to the boarstud with me countless times and she was an invaluable resource for our employee Will as he set up a collection pen for the boars in the gestation barn.  Maddie felt pretty good about being able to give orders to the barn manager.  She did a terrific job laying out the collection pen.  Yesterday evening, Brandon and I made sure the new facility was going to work for collection by working a couple of the boars.  It appears this temporary set-up should work just fine.

While all of this construction and moving and collecting are going on, I’m still finding time to train for the 1/2 marathon.  Teresa K. and I are going to run the “Udder Run” tomorrow morning.  This is the race that happens during our towns “Volksfest” celebration.  It’s called the Udder Run because of our towns huge ties to agriculture, dairy in particular.  The weather is supposed to be cool, which is perfect for running.