welfare pig farm Esplunda

Pig farm Esplunda Sweden

Farm report – Successful implementation of open farrowing boxes (SCHAUER - BeFree) in Sweden

The "Esplunda – Grisen AB" farm is located about 1 hour's drive west of Stockholm in Sweden. This farm was bought by Mr. Per Nilson 2 years ago. Work started immediately to adapt the farm with new technologies for about 700 sows. The concept offered by the Bopil/Schauer company appealed more to Mr. Nilson than competitors' concepts, and so he decided to implement it. The concept from BOPIL/Schauer includes the new mobility farrowing boxes (BeFree), a SPOTMIX multiphase feeding system, scraper system to remove manure from the channels under the farrowing box and thus to provide a perfect air climate. The farm has only been in operation for about 6 months. However, that is already enough time for the first highly positive results to be achieved.

The BeFree mobility farrowing box was developed for user-friendly and animal-friendly farrowing, so this concept was highly praised by the manager of the farm, Mrs. Petra Lindblad. With this technology, it has been possible to reduce the number of stockmen from 8 to 4 persons and increase the number of weaned piglets (per litter) from approx. 9.8 to 12 in only 3 months. Mrs. Lindblad believes that the operation will soon reach the goal of 13 piglets per farrowing and reduce losses to approx. 12% in a short time. The losses have already been reduced from 20% to 15%. (This value is achieved with free farrowing!)

The advantages of this BeFree box have been described as follows:

  •  Comfortable for the sow because of the high freedom of movement;
    natural behaviour is encouraged; 
  •  Straw addition is possible; 
  •  Piglets are safe in the piglet box; 
  •  Simple piglet handling; 
  •  Very good overview of the aisle; 

The demanding legal standards in Sweden have been met (min. 6 m² box size; freedom of movement for sows from box wall to box wall, confinement of sow only for handling)

The SPOTMIX system supplies the farrowing cages with feed. The reason for this decision by Mr. Nilson was that each sow gets the optimal formula and feed quantity in the farrowing area. With this exact feeding method, it is possible to guarantee that the sows are supplied with enough energy and it is also easy to react to health problems. The Spotmix multiphase feeding system is also used as a feed mixer, so it does not require an additional feed mixing system. There, all the feed ingredients are stored individually in silos, including each small constituent (vitamins, etc.). The Spotmix mixes the optimum recipe for each sow and sends this quantity without wastage to the individual boxes by air blower. This means the feed pipes are always empty and clean, there is no mixing or blending of feed residues in the feed pipes which remain hygienically clean.

We (some Finnish farmers and I) were very impressed by the experience gathered and the results achieved on the Esplunda Farm and we wish Mr. Nilson and Mrs. Lindblad continue to benefit from and achieve success with our SCHAUER technology!