The Swine Nursery

| Welcome | Pig Density | My Feet Hurt | Feed Trough | Ambient Environment |


pig climbing walls to greet photographer

Welcome to the swine nursery! In the image to the right, note the flat slatted floors, common feed unit (at right), and open horizontal bars. Those bars can be handy to get a better view of the humans!


Pig Density

estimate pen density

This pen is 7 x 11.5 feet. What is the pig density? Is it adequate? While this image makes it hard to tell the density, in the barn, the pigs move around, so you are about even there! Click on the image to see the pigs marked to check your counting. A


My Feet Hurt!

pig sleeping in feed unit

What do you see here? This little pig's feet hurt, so he crawled into the feed trough for a nap. The flooring in this pen is adequate for older or larger pigs, but it is slightly too open for a small nursery pig. Comfort mats would help prevent him from sleeping in the food. (Unless he just likes it...)


At the Feed Trough

waiting at the feed trough

The feed auger starts pushing food into the pipes on the other end of the barn. As the feed bins fill up, the food moves further down to the next bin. These pigs heard the sound and are waiting for their dinner. Information on feeding nursery pigs can be found at the biology nursery page.


Ambient Environment

Ventilation and temperature control are crucial in the nursery phase. The equipment is the same as described in the grow-finish section. The use of the equipment varies in that the production targets vary in the different stages. The concepts of temperature control are described in the biology of the nursery phase.

In addition, the modern swine nursery is biosecure, which means all personnel must shower in and out, and must tour the facilities through farrowing, nursery, grow-finish, and gestation, so as not to track any potential pathogens from older pigs back to younger pigs.


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

Answer: There are 25 pigs in that pen. The pen is 7 x 11.5 or 80.5 sq. ft. That makes space per pig out to be: 80.5/25 or approx. 3.2 sq. ft. per pig. In the nursery, 3 sq. ft. per pig is adequate. (back)