Farmers and the farming profession are a respected and revered part of French culture, and a high degree of legal and financial protection for farmers is built in by the government. France is currently the largest beneficiary of farming-related subsidies from the EU and is fiercely protective of them. Pig farmers in France are currently being invited to register requests for subsidies for up to 17,000 Euros to convert their pig accommodation from stalls to “loose housing”, as long as they fulfill the requirement of having a minimum of 20 sows or 60 pigs, and apply before the 21st November 2012. The move is designed to bring French pig farmers in line with new European and national standards.
After 50 years of development, pig farming in France has been improved, from decentralized breeding to scale farming. It has formed a French model of pig production.
Today’s pig barns and buildings in France have been shaped by breakthroughs in technical and technological development.
—Insulation: Because of the short ROI turnaround, insulation has been developed as the natural way to minimize energy expenditure.
—Wall-wall slatted flooring: This development has brought significant time savings, as animal waste can be managed without any farm worker labor input until the slurry is finally cleaned; and also wall-to-wall slatted flooring eases the level of pressure on digestive infection in piglets and urogenital infections in sows.
—Dynamic ventilation: This ventilation makes it possible to keep in-shed atmospheric conditions under year-around control, keeping heat escape under control in winter and preventing heatstrokes in summer.
And today’s pig farming in France has top-notch indoor facilities.
—Feeder and troughs: materials with increasing resistance to acid corrosion have been chosen to make feeders and troughs, and the feeder and trough can also be equipped with an efficient stainless-steel controller system that will radically eliminate feed cost.
—Watering and water purification: automatic watering system and water purification system are adopted to ensure zero water waste and high water quality for pig health and ultimately for production performances.
—Gestation crates: Using a split-level system, the gestation crates help improve the weaner pigs’ survival rates, and decrease the piglet’s death losses caused by crushing.
—Heating and cooling: The trend today is that heating is even being incorporated into the grower phase via heat recovery systems, and the sow stalls are increasingly being fitted with either regular or spay cooling systems, which helps a lot in higher pig health standards.