CON-TENTED Aardvark arK

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A multi award winning Aardvark Farrowing Ark not only moves away from traditional materials for its construction but also offers a radical new approach to farrowing accommodation design.

Improved genetics are giving farmers ever larger litters, however there is a danger that mortality rates could rise to unacceptable levels. This new ark might be simple in design but it comes with features that can’t be achieved with the more traditional steel or timber arks.

The plastic ark is UV stable, recyclable and will outlast metal huts.  Easily cleaned with no ledges or corners to trap dirt. The spherical shape is already very strong but filling the cavity with foam creates an exceptionally robust hut.

The Aardvark Ark and fender is designed to prevent the sow from lying against any side walls and crushing the piglets. The internal area is 4.15m2 which is larger than most other huts. The ark is fully insulated with approximately 50mm of foam so piglets lie against the side walls away from the sow. An automatic ram opens and closes the rear vent producing six degrees less variation compared to insulated metal arks. Reduced condensation reduces the amount of straw required.

The upward opening door and igloo shaped porch provide some extra weather protection and are a deterrent to foxes. The fender has an integral water tank and 2 nipples which ensures full compliance with welfare legislation. The tank is automatically drained when folding the fender up. The ark and fender can then be moved as one. Two small creep troughs are built into the fender, again out of reach from the sow.

Trial results from farms in England and Scotland consistently show a quarter to half a pig per litter improvement in numbers weaned and half a kilogram improvement in weaning weights.

 

The round shape of the Aardvark complements the sows shape keeping her in the middle of the hut giving the piglets 360 degrees of safety.

The round shape of the Aardvark complements the sows shape keeping her in the middle of the hut giving the piglets 360 degrees of safety.

The fender folds up so the box or trailer can be placed in front of the door for simple no handling weaning

The fender folds up so the box or trailer can be placed in front of the door for simple no handling weaning

The fender folds up so the box or trailer can be placed in front of the door for simple no handling weaning

The fender folds up so the box or trailer can be placed in front of the door for simple no handling weaning

Integrated creep troughs in the fender

Integrated creep troughs in the fender

Infrared picture showing no heat loss from the refrigeration grade insulated ark

Infrared picture showing no heat loss from the refrigeration grade insulated ark

On a frosty morning the temperature inside the refrigeration grade insulated ark is 16.3 degrees

On a frosty morning the temperature inside the refrigeration grade insulated ark is 16.3 degrees

ENVIRONMENTAL Findings

  • The arks are a number of degrees cooler in summer and warmer in the winter

  • The arks are lighter on the inside, allowing easy observation

  • The design of the Con-Tented Ark allows the sow room to manoeuvre, reducing the risk of crushing the piglets

  • 100% recyclable with an end of life value

 

Key Features

  • Durable twin skin plastic construction

  • Temperature controlled rear window

  • Weighs 150kg (fully insulated)

  • 50mm air gap for insulation

  • 25 years galvanized metal finish

  • Flip up plastic fender with integrated drinker and creep feeder

  • Regrigeration grade PU foam insulation (50mm) - optional

  • Less condensation reducing straw usage

  • Floor available

 

Benefits

  • Reduced internal temperature range

  • Better mortality due to 360 degrees of safety for piglets

  • Increased weening weights due the sow spending more time in the arcs serving the piglets

  • Greatly improved life expectancy

  • Excellent lying space for both sows and young

  • Smooth moulded plastic is easy to keep clean and prevents injuries.

  • Stable in high winds

The arck stacked for safe economic transport

The arck stacked for safe economic transport

The new fender can be filled with 50 litres of water. Trials have shown a litter rarely needs more than this so the fender tank only needs filling once per litter

The new fender can be filled with 50 litres of water. Trials have shown a litter rarely needs more than this so the fender tank only needs filling once per litter

A piglet drinker nipple can be fitted to the fender which is tucked away from the sow,

A piglet drinker nipple can be fitted to the fender which is tucked away from the sow,

Infrared picture showing heat loss from an insulated metal ark

Infrared picture showing heat loss from an insulated metal ark

On the same frosty morning the insulated steel ark was only 8.1 degrees

On the same frosty morning the insulated steel ark was only 8.1 degrees