At AU Viborg - Research Centre Foulum the total area dedicated to pig housing is more than 11,000 m2 and is accommodated so that many different kinds of research and development projects can be carried out.
The buildings can house a mother herd of 300 sows and their annual production of approximately 6,000 piglets and finishers.
The individual units are built so that they are as flexible as possible with regard to housing conditions.
The sow units comprises dry sow housing for individual sows, loose sows in deep litter, loose sows in conventional pens and electronic sow feeding, farrowing units with farrowing crates and loose sows, weaner units with pens for housing animals individually, in groups and controlled environment sections.
In the finisher unit there are pens for individual housing and groups of different sizes. This unit is also accommodated for digestion and balance studies for all pig categories.
The department has several respiration chambers where it is possible to measure the direct emission of greenhouse gases from the animals and also the emission that comes from the animals energy metabolism.
The feeding system in the individual units can handle more than 20 different feed mixtures from the feed storage, where there are mixers and pelletizing equipment for producing or processing feed mixtures from 50 up to 2,000 kg.
The primary goal of the activities is to produce basic and applied knowledge in the areas of nutrition, nutritional physiology, health and behaviour, and breeding and reproduction. All the units are approved for transgenic pigs. The overall aim in many of the projects is to optimise energy and nutrient conversion with a focus on sustainable food production while taking into consideration the health and welfare of the animals.
Projects regarding housing equipment, ventilation and climate, IKT and other technical solutions that are relevant to commercial farms are also carried out in the pig facilities.
Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences has people with the relevant skills for carrying out many kinds of research and development projects in all pig categories, including extracting and handling feed, milk, blood, urine and tissue samples. The research and development projects in the facilities are often carried out in collaboration with external partners with a close connection to other laboratory facilities at AU Viborg - Research Centre Foulum with a focus on feed, urine, blood and tissue analysis.