Direct Pen Ventilation Retrofit for Nursery Rooms - Ontario Pork - Active Research

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Active Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals once a year. These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Jessica Fox at

Active Research

Direct Pen Ventilation Retrofit for Nursery Rooms

Direct Pen Ventilation Retrofit for Nursery Rooms

Project 20-005 - John van de Vegte, OMAFRA

The barn gas monitoring data collected to date in the ongoing project 18-006 "Barn Gas Monitoring with Automated Ventilation Control" indicates that the existing ventilation system in an industry-typical nursery room is not fully effective in managing the temperature and barn gas conditions within the room. For example:

  1. Make-up air drawn into the barn through the eaves also draws barn gases from the ventilation fans back into the barn.
  2. Make-up air entering the nursery rooms at the ceiling level does not fully reach the pig level evidenced by the consistently high carbon dioxide gas concentrations measured through project 18-006.
  3. Using the barn attic as a plenum limits the overnight room cooling effect during the hot summer months.

An improved ventilation system is required that can be retrofit to existing nursery barns to improve the environmental conditions. This research project will demonstrate an innovative ventilation system which fundamentally changes how nursery rooms are ventilated throughout the year. The system concept provides fresh, temperature controlled air directly into the pens where the pigs live. Barn gases are expelled from the nursery room through a combination of the positive pressure generated in the room combined with the pit fan generating a negative pressure under the slotted room floor.

The improved environmental conditions within the nursery room is focused on improving pig welfare and productivity. Once the performance of this system is proven, the technology can quickly be installed by other farms since the system is configured as a retrofit kit.

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