HOG SLAT BLOG – U.S.

Hog Slat offers Additional Options for Swine Watering 0

Single and Double Welded Cups

Single and Double Welded Cups

Hog Slat highlighted an additional watering option for finishing pigs at the 2016 World Pork Expo. This all stainless steel welded cup is available in single and double models and designed with several features producers will appreciate.

Note formed gap in back plate

Note formed gap in back plate to prevent manure buildup.

 

The back plate of welded cup is formed with a gap off the gate to allow any manure accumulating there to be easily washed out. This prevents premature rusting of gate rods common with cups mounted back to back without this gap.

Two-piece water pipe.

Two-piece water pipe.

 

The unique design of the two-piece water pipe allows for easy replacement if it should ever become damaged or bent. The separate ½”x 48” long pipe installs into a female coupler on top of the cup. A specially designed bracket is included to mount the pipe to the top angle on a gate.

 

Mounting cups back to back is simple with four bolts or single cups can be mounted with a U-bolt around a horizontal gate bar.

 

To order go to www.hogslat.com, stop at a local Hog Slat store or call 800-949-4647.

 

2nd Gen Sensor featured in GrowerSELECT Feed Line Control 0

GrowerSELECT Proxy Control at the 2016 World Pork Expo

GrowerSELECT Proxy Control on display  at the 2016 World Pork Expo

One of the products Hog Slat introduced at the 2016 World Pork Expo is designed to give pork producers an improved method for controlling feed line motors.

The GrowerSELECT Proximity Drop Tube Control features a flat proxy sensor that can detect feed levels through the plastic housing. The flat proxy mounts to the side of the feed tube and doesn’t require drilling a hole for installation. The compact design takes up less room on the control compared to rod type proxy sensors.

GrowerSELECT HS572

GrowerSELECT HS752

Encapsulated solid state sensor has no moving parts and doesn't need adjustment.

Flat Sensor

 

 

Like it happens with many advancements in electronics this improved sensor costs less than existing technology.  A quick online search shows replacement rod type proxy switches costing between $117 and $150.  The complete HS752 unit costs $125 and can replace the feed level control on any existing feed system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close of sensor mounted on control

Close up of sensor mounted on control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple wiring diagrams for existing feed systems.

Simple wiring diagrams for existing feed systems.

 

Click here for manual illustrating wiring schemes for installing the HS752 on the most common feed systems.

 

 

To order go to www.hogslat.com , stop at a local store (see store locator)  or call 800-949-4647.

 

 

 

 

Good Slat Design Aid in Preventing Swine Lameness 0

Totally slatted flooring used in group sow housing.
Totally slatted concrete flooring used in group sow housing.

With the majority of U.S. pigs finished in confinement style facilities, a 12-pound weaned pig will spend at least four months on slatted concrete floors. As the industry moves from gestation stalls to group housing designs, slat quality becomes an important factor. Rather than being confined to a small slatted area, sow movement over an entire slatted pen subjects them potential injury from defective flooring design.

Good concrete slat design, construction, and maintenance can minimize foot and leg problems associated with swine production.

The most critical feature in slat design is producing slats with a flat top surface.  Slats with uneven and inconsistent surface place additional stress on pig’s feet and joints.

Level top provides surface that is easier on pig's feet and joints.

Level top provides a surface that is easier on pig’s feet and joints.

Many methods used for producing concrete slats consist of placing wet cast concrete into multiple steel forms and hand troweling to finish.  It is harder to build slats with a consistently flat surface by hand finishing methods.

 

Rotoscreen "striking off" dry cast concrete on mold to apply flat surface on slats.

Rotoscreed “striking off” dry cast concrete from mold to apply a flat surface on slats.

Machined slats are produced with a different process that eliminates the uneven surface found on hand cast slats. Automated Rotoscreeds “strike off” the mold creating a level, uniformly flat top that is easier for pigs to move across.

Machine produced slats

Hog Slat floor slats provide a flat, even surface for pigs.

Slat longevity is an important consideration as worn or damaged areas create uneven surfaces that can injure pigs. Slats built using concrete with a low water-to-cement ratio are longer lasting and more resistant to wear.

The water-cement ratio refers to the ratio of the water weight to the cement weight used in a concrete mix. A lower ratio leads to higher strength and durability but makes the mix difficult to work with and form. For this reason, most slats are produced with wet cast concrete using a water-cement ratio of 0.5. Machined slats are manufactured from dry cast concrete with a water-cement ratio of less than .39.

Cement-Water-Ratio_web

A cubic yard of wet cast concrete formulated with 500 pounds of cement contains 250 pounds of water, while a dry cast mix only contains 195 pounds. As the excess water leaves during the curing process, it creates microscopic pores that reduce the final strength of a slat. Compromised slat strength can lead to many problems down the road, including expensive repairs, equipment damage and injury to pigs and farm personnel.

Wet cast slats by feeder showing exposed aggregate damage.
Wet cast slats by feeder showing exposed aggregate damage and repaired surface with Vanberg Specialized Coatings. 

Maintaining surfaces and edges of slats, as they wear over time, is essential in providing pigs with a comfortable flooring surface. Areas around waterers and feeders are the first to show significant damage. When the need arises for concrete slat repair, choose a repair mortar designed for slat repair versus generic concrete repair products. Mortars designed for slat repairs feature cement and epoxy formulations with higher cure strengths and faster cure times. The amount of damage will determine the type of repair product needed. For simple repairs, less than 1/4″ in depth, a cost effective cement mortar can be used. More severe corrosion requires the use of epoxy mortars to hold the repair patch in place. Hog Slat offers a complete range of concrete repair products from Vanberg Specialized Coatings that can be used to repair worn and damaged slats with minimal downtime. For more information on slat repairs see the DIY video at http://www.hogslat.com/con-korite-xtra-mortar-kit.

Choosing concrete slats with a level surface and uniform openings provide growing pigs and group housed sows with secure footing to minimize foot and joint injuries.

To learn more about Hog Slat’s machine produced slats go to http://www.hogslat.com/concrete-slats.

 

2015 World Pork Expo Hog Slat Display 0

2015 World Pork Expo Hog Slat Display Booth

 

Another successful show is in the books for Hog Slat at the 2015 World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. This year, Hog Slat displayed several new items, including our AirStorm fiberglass ventilation fans, Grow-Disk™ chain disk feed system and the GrowerSELECT® curtain machine. In addition to these new products, we also featured our concrete slats, TriDek flooring, group pen feed stanchions, GrowerSELECT sow drops and more.

 

Hog Slat hosted a group of Chinese pig farmers that were visiting the United States and attended the World Pork Expo. On Tuesday, as part of their trip, we visited a brand new 2 barn finishing site Hog Slat just completed, located in Lohrville, IA. The group was able to see a new group of pigs that had just been loaded into one of the barns earlier that afternoon, and also examine the inside of the other barn that had not been loaded with pigs yet.GrowerSELECT Iowa Finish Barn
Both of these deep pit barns were equipped with GrowerSELECT Grow-Flex™ feed systems, Hog Slat wet/dry hog feeders and AquaChief cup waterers as part of their equipment package. The group was very impressed with the fit and finish of Hog Slat’s feed system equipment and building construction. To learn more about new construction or remodeling hog barns in the Midwest or other areas of the United States, please visit the Hog Slat sales representative locator, found here.

 

IA-GrowerSELECT-Finish-Barn_New-Equipment

 

Cut & Weld Panels for DIY Hog Gating 0

Hog Slat’s Cut & Weld panels enable you to build DIY steel gates for your hog farm. Cut & Weld panels feature a movable end to create customized lengths. They’re in stock at a local Hog Slat store or online at www.hogslat.com/dyi-gates-and-posts.