Water Distribution Systems in Pig Farm Buildings: Critical Elements of Design and Management
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Farm Water Sources, On-Farm Water Storage Capacity, and Pipelines to Buildings
We haven’t expanded pig numbers, but our water system, we keep adding to it. We have different sources of water. We have bore water. We have dam water. We have town water and we have desalination water.
3.2. Buildings and WDSs within Buildings
The plumbing system has been added on to or changed every time they made a production change. Everything has just been added on over 35 years, and the whole thing is not ideal.
3.3. Drinkers for Pigs
I haven’t experimented with it, mainly because there is a code of practice in regards to the height off the ground for varying ages of pigs.
I feel the drinker height is too high. Slightly too high for the piglets when they first go in there. It feels like they need to be all dropped down, but that’s a big job in itself.
If (the drinker) is near feed, they tend to eat and drink and put on more weight with more feed being consumed.
My preference is to have the water off to the feeders and have two distinct stations—one drinking station and one feeding station. We did that (and) actually got a one kilo weight gain difference between the traditional and modified systems.
3.4. Changes in Daily Water Flow in WDSs as Each Batch of Pigs Is Reared
3.5. Monitoring WDS Function and Water Quality
I live 15, 20 min away. In the middle of summer on a weekend you’ve got to come out and have a look at the pumps. If you could dial up on your phone and check that the pressure gauges are fine or that the tank is full—there’s no need to go there.
We always had an issue of blowing water pipes, creating havoc for us. So we changed over to variable speed drive pumps.
We run two pumps in our dam. They continually alternate, so we’re getting the same amount of hours on each pump. If I have one pump break down, I’ll just run the other one on manual.
Unfortunately, all our water lines are up near the roofs. We’ve done some tests in the shelters where the water doesn’t move as much. It took me 10 min after taking off a nipple to have that water cooled down enough to drink on those hot days.
3.6. WDS Sanitization Practices
We’ve had some issues with slimy muck build up in the lines. Now when we empty the shed, we run the water tank down to about 500 litres of water, and we run acid through the line when the shed’s empty and clean the lines out.
I think about it (cleaning and sanitisation) from time to time, but that doesn’t mean action!
4.1. Looped vs. Branched WDSs
4.2. Over-Sized Pig Building WDSs
4.3. Pigs’ Access to Water
4.4. WDS Sanitization Practices
4.5. Use of Water-Usage Metering and Alert Systems
4.6. Limitations of the Study
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
|Characteristic||Proportion of Study |
|Years working in the pig industry:|
|Years managing the current farm:|
|Characteristic||Proportion of Study Farms (%)|
|Location [state of Australia]:|
|South Australia||9/25 (36%)|
|New South Wales||6/25 (24%)|
|Animals on farm:|
|Sows, boars, and growing pigs||12/25 (48%)|
|Growing pigs only||13/25 (52%)|
|Single- or multiple-site configuration:|
|Weaner pig buildings described in questionnaire:|
|Conventional with solid/slatted/mesh-floored pens||24/40 (60%)|
|Eco-shelters with straw-floor pens||16/40 (40%)|
|Age of buildings:|
|<2 years||9/40 (22%)|
|3–10 years||0/40 (0%)|
|11–20 years||13/40 (33%)|
|20 years||18/40 (45%)|
|Grower/finisher pig buildings described in questionnaire:|
|Conventional with solid/slatted/mesh-floored pens||31/48 (65%)|
|Eco-shelters with straw-floor pens||17/48 (35%)|
|Age of buildings:|
|<2 years||11/88 (12%)|
|3–10 years||5/88 (6%)|
|11–20 years||26/88 (30%)|
|≥20 years||46/88 (52%)|
|Pig flow in weaner buildings:|
|All-in-all-out by room or building||38/40 (95%)|
|Continuous flow||2/40 (5%)|
|Pig flow in grower/finisher buildings:|
|All-in-all-out by room or building||38/48 (79%)|
|Continuous flow||10/48 (21%)|
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Little, S.; Woodward, A.; Browning, G.; Billman-Jacobe, H. Water Distribution Systems in Pig Farm Buildings: Critical Elements of Design and Management. Animals 2021, 11, 3268. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113268
Little S, Woodward A, Browning G, Billman-Jacobe H. Water Distribution Systems in Pig Farm Buildings: Critical Elements of Design and Management. Animals. 2021; 11(11):3268. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113268Chicago/Turabian Style
Little, Stephen, Andrew Woodward, Glenn Browning, and Helen Billman-Jacobe. 2021. "Water Distribution Systems in Pig Farm Buildings: Critical Elements of Design and Management" Animals 11, no. 11: 3268. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113268