Small Scale Hoop Structures for Market Swine
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In the mid-1990s, amid concerns and realities surrounding the shift to large industrial-style swine confinement production units in Iowa, an alternative swine production system was introduced to the Midwest from Canada−hoop structures or hoops. Hoops are large tentlike structures that are deep bedded with cornstalks or straw. The pigs are kept in the hoop usually as one large group (>150 head). The hoop is naturally ventilated. Bedding is added as the pigs grow. The hoop is cleaned after the pigs are marketed. Typical size for hoops is 30 ft × 84 ft for 200 market pigs. Wider hoops with steel truss arches are now on the market. Wider and longer hoops often have ridge vents to improve ventilation. Several companies are now marketing small-scale hoops of widths less than 20 ft These are often called utility shelters. The objective of this project was to demonstrate a small-scale hoop structure for swine. Low cost, small scale, versatility and quasitemporary status were emphasized.