02/27/05 — Swine facility bids come in high

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Swine facility bids come in high

By Turner Walston
Published in News on February 27, 2005 2:04 AM

Bids for construction of a new experimental hog farm at Cherry Research Farm came in higher than expected, officials say.

Faram superintendent Eddie Pitzer said the state Department of Agriculture is trying to re-allocate money so that construction of the facility can still be built on schedule.

The new, environmentally-friendly swine facility would consist of four hog houses, each measuring 40 feet-by-90 feet. On would be used soley for gestation. The other three would be "finishing houses."

All of the buildings would be deep-bedded, hoop-type structures, consisting of a metal frame covered with a white canvas to reflect heat. Plans call for the buildings to have ventilation inlets along the sides and outlets at each end. Straw or corn fodder will be used as bedding to absorb the affluent, Pitzer said.

Operations at the new farm will begin with 15 antibiotic-free sows, siad Floyd Wiggins, an engineer for the Department of Agriculture. From there, plans are to produce enough pigs to have 200 in each of the three houses. Thee 600 vaccine-free pigs will then be used for research.

"It will not be like any typical swine operation," Wiggins said, noting that the facility would not be a 'fair to finish' operation.

"It's not intended to be a replacement for the swine industry in North Carolina," Wiggins says, "It's intended to give another way to grow pigs."

Pitzer said it should be known next week whether the contract will be awarded.