Grow-Finish Facilities: Environmental Control

| EAT | Ventilation | Siting | Microenvironment |

Effective Ambient Temperature (humidity/temperature)


Passive or Forced Ventilation

natural ventilation

This finisher barn has openings in the middle which are screened. This small opening would be inadequate top allow temperature control for a barn, but it is used here as a supplement to fan ventilation. Cargill units use no fans, so the openings span a whole side of the barn to ensure adequate air flow.

vent inlet

This end of the barn houses the inlets for the tunnel ventilation system. Tunnel ventilation means that one end of the barn has the inlet and the other has fans pulling air out of the barn. This sets up a breeze through the barn. At this particular farm, on extremely hot days, the inlet wall, which is made of a chain-mail can be wetted down so that the incoming air is cooled over the water as it is pulled into the barn. (The red structure in the background is the loading ramp.)

3 bank of fans

These fans pull air through the barn from the inlet side. It is important to plan to have ten times as much ventilation in hot weather as in cooler weather. Many barns accomplish this by installing extra fans and only turning them all on during stifling heat.


Siting of Buildings

barns on a hilltop

These barns are situated on a hilltop in a remote location which is ideal for enforcing biosecurity. Adequate breezes are necessary to allow tunnel ventilation and natural ventilation buildings to function. This remote location also prevents noise and smell from reaching neighbors.


Uniformity of Microenvironment (within a pen) is critical to control fighting/cannibalism

nursery fight

Social competition is common. When the microenvironment in the pen varies, pigs can fight over the "best" spots. Remember to measure variables like temperature and humidity at the level of the animals. The air you feel walking in to the room is unlikely to feel like the air at pig level in a pen.


Copyright ©1997 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty: Dr. Paul Pitcher
Student: Sandra Springer,'99