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105,000 sows stacked six stories high

The mega farm in China has 21 buildings with 5,000 sows each, farrow to finish.

Construction of the Muyuan Meat and Food Industry complex in China, with 105,000 sows in 21 six-story buildings, is progressing steadily, reports Michael Ellermann, a swine consultant with Danish company Aspire Agritech Consulting. Ellermann is based in China, where he works with clients on training, farm management, and new farm development.

The site covers 450 acres, with another 500 acres in a logistics park with railway and highway ports. The feed mill on the site will produce 720,000 tons of feed annually.

Once completed, likely this year, the 105,000-sow farm will produce 2.1 million pigs annually. A slaughterhouse on site will slaughter and process 2.1 million pigs annually.

There are six floors in each building, with 5,000 sows in each unit, 2,500 sows on each side of building.

Chinese hog farm construction

All waste water is fully treated and the by-product is drinkable.

Ellermann took these photos last year during a tour of the complex when it had been under construction for just four months.

The top two floors are sows and gilts. Below that on the fourth floor is the nursery. The first three floors are finishers. Pigs are transported in elevators from one floor to another. All floors are all-in-all-out. Pigs come out of the farrowing rooms and go into a box elevator and into the nursery below. After seven weeks they go down a floor to the finisher.

All air coming in and out of the farm is filtered. Incoming air is filtered against disease; outgoing air is filtered to reduce odor.

All finisher pigs will be on automated carts going to the slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse will be the last thing to be constructed on the complex.

dorms for workers

The complex will provide 5,000 jobs. Workers live in dormitories on site (right). They stay there for months at a time before going home for visits. Workers can’t bring in food because African swine fever has been found on vegetables and other food.

The complex integrates feed processing, pig production, slaughtering, meat and food processing, and sightseeing and tourism. It realizes the integrated development of the swine industry in China, says Ellermann.

The technology is leading the world, he says. The complex will have full coverage of a 5G network. There will be deep integration of intelligent equipment, Internet of things, big data, cloud computing, and AI technology, says Ellermann. Sick pigs will be identified using facial recognition, and then a robot will go to treat the pigs.

Why build a farm this size? “Just to show you can,” says Ellermann. There are other farms in mountainous areas of China that are nine or even 11 floors tall to maximize the number of pigs on a smaller land area, he says.

six floors of pigs

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