Have you ever wondered what the ideal pig farm would look like? A group of farmers, researchers, architects, and animal behavior specialists have collaborated to create a farm environment where pigs can express natural behavior in a family unit, integrated with multiple innovations. As partners in the project, Hendrix Genetics and Hypor have signed a collaborative agreement with The Family Pig to place the first family of Hypor pigs in the pilot farm.
Click here to see our pigs thriving in their new home, placed in May 2019.
What is The Family Pig?
The Family Pig is an innovative farm located in The Netherlands. Their mission is to develop a mainstream system that combines high welfare standards with profitable production, leading to happier, healthier animals. The result is a total system redesign that is high functioning, while also being socially acceptable for consumers. Cooperative partners involved in this project include Wageningen University & Research, Coppens Diervoeding, Agrifood Capital, Cangurus Architecten, Dura Vermeer, Noldus Information Technology, Inno+. Wageningen University & Research investigated and summarized natural pig behavior, and their findings were used in the design of the test stall.
Hypor Libra* sows were the first to be placed in the pilot farm. To satisfy the pigs’ instinct to defecate in one area, the stall is designed with specific “pig toilets” that have a direct manure drain. This eliminates emissions and reduces the smell of the barn, a benefit for both the farmer and neighbors. There are nest rooms where sows can feed and care for their piglets on their own with minimal human interference. The pigs are also able to express natural behavior in an open space, such as rooting in sand and rolling in mud.
Data-driven farming is another key part of the project. Frank Wind and Tjacko Sijpens, the initiators behind The Family Pig, state: “In the future, we want to make sustainable pork available to all consumers and be able to predict as accurately as possible what a pig needs to grow healthy and efficiently. We work with high-tech companies to analyse the behaviour of the pigs in the barn. This data is then used to increase the wellbeing, health and efficiency of the growth of each individual Family Pig.”
We are proud to be a part of this project and novel approach to farming using our pigs, specifically selected to thrive in a variety of environments, including The Family Pig farm. By supporting these innovative projects, we can make a real impact in enhancing welfare standards and the sustainability of the industry.