Confinement Facility Maintenance

Tips that’ll help your swine facility last for the long-haul!

A team of field agriculture engineers with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach released five articles covering the importance of proper maintenance and improvement of swine confinement facilities.

No matter the age of your livestock facility, it’s important to keep up with routine maintenance of the building. Doing so can increase the longevity, efficiency, and livestock comfort within the building.
  1. Be Selective With the Type of Curtain you Purchase – Select curtains with non-breathable fabrics. Non-breathable fabrics resist stretching, which makes them easier to maintain. They also allow more control over the internal ventilation of the building. Heavier curtain fabrics may be more expensive. But strong, high quality curtains may pass the test of time and require less maintenance.
  2. Minimize Curtain Air Leakage – Curtains height should be six inches greater than the actual opening, and two feet longer on both ends. When curtains close, this overlap will minimize air leakage and increase internal airflow. Nylon rope or PVC netting will keep the curtain from billowing in the wind, which will prevent any tears or damage.
  3. Clean Your Curtains – Clean curtains with a garden hose. Pressure washing may puncture holes in the fabric. Avoid cleaning chemicals, as they may weaken the material. It’s recommended to do a maintenance check on curtains before cold weather approaches and repair any damages.
  4. Insulation – Insulation can save you money on energy bills and help your building last longer. Insulation reduces heat gain from the roof, along with keeping the building warmer during winter months. Make sure to check insulation annually for rodent and bird damage. It’s recommended to use thermal imaging to check for areas that need more insulation.
  5. Lighting and Electrical Systems – Swine buildings can create a corrosive environment, make sure to access your electrical system regularly for any damages and repairs. Wiring should be lined with Type UF Cable or non-metallic conduit. Switches and receptacles should be placed in moisture-proof enclosures. Keep light fixtures clean and replace protective covers when damaged.

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