M. Señorón:

M. Señorón: "Rotecna’s plates allow to have a efficient consumption"

19th January 2023 - Success stories

After finishing his studies at the School of Agricultural Engineering of Badajoz, Mariano Señorón was in charge of the Los Baldíos farm, in the municipality of Alburquerque in Badajoz, thus following the family tradition. Built-in 2002 by his father, the farm currently has 2,500 places for Iberian sows and 7,000 weaning places. In his commitment to animal welfare, Mariano has been relying on the solutions offered by Rotecna for years, such as hydraulic heated plates or Swing R3 Duo hoppers, which he installed in the weaning rooms.  

comedero destete
Mariano Señorón in the weaning room. Photo: Rotecna.

Why did you decide to commit yourself to pig breeding?
I’ve wanted to since I was little, it runs in the family. My father has devoted his whole life to the swine sector and it is something he instilled in me. Over time, I have been learning, I completed the degree of agronomist and I have also studied for a master's degree in swine, and I have decided to continue with the family business. 

What is the origin of this farm?
This farm dates back to 2002 when my father began its construction. Over time it has evolved; at first, we started with Duroc and then we changed to the Iberian breed. With these changes, we have also increased the farm tally, and we have gone from having 500 Iberian sows to 2,500, in addition to 7,000 weaned piglet places. 

How is it distributed?
The farm has a quarantine area with 600 places for first-timers, two insemination areas with 630 cages, a shed for the heat detection of multiparous and first-time sows, and two warehouses dedicated to farrowing with 540 places in total. Finally, we have the confirmed gestation area where we have a total of 1,500 spots and the weaning area with 7,000 places. 

How many people work in these facilities?
We have a total of 10 employees who are spread over zones. That is, we have staff who are dedicated exclusively to the gestation area and are responsible for the entire process of insemination, heat detection, cleaning, and everything related to the control of those stages until birthing; exclusive staff in the farrowing area, who are dedicated to the births, care and day-to-day tasks (feeding, litter control, etc.); a person for weaning, and, finally, two people who are responsible for the maintenance of the farm and that everything is in tip-top shape on a daily basis. 

ahorro energetico granjas cerdos
Iberian weaning with Rotecna heated plates. Photo: Rotecna.

Rotecna’s hydraulic heating slates are installed at weaning. Why did you decide to go for this product?
Due to the current situation and how the future looks, we decided to replace our electric heating with the hydraulic heating system with a biomass boiler. Specifically, we went for Rotecna’s slates because of their experience in the pork sector and the quality of their materials. 

What benefits would you highlight from the use of slates?
I highlight, above all, the environment, and the thermal feeling that is inside the room where the piglets are. The slates offer a pleasant thermal environment, with an adequate temperature. It is also necessary to emphasize the ease of operation of the whole installation. 

How do you operate the slates? How do you regulate them?
We have automatic controllers. This controller reduces the temperature of the slates automatically depending on the piglets’ age until it reaches a point, in the fourth week, in which we close the heating off completely because it is no longer necessary. That way we avoid excessive consumption and generating heat when it is no longer needed. We start with a temperature of 37 degrees, and the regulators are adjusted with a probe that is in contact with the slate itself. Then we measure the temperature with a laser on the surface of the slate and play with that margin a little, between what we measure and what the probe shows, to establish a comfortable temperature for the piglet. 

Are they energy-efficient slates?
At the end of the day, everything depends on the installation, but yes, Rotecna’s hydraulic slates allow us to have a very efficient consumption. What regulating offers you is not having to be constantly aware of the temperature of the slate, and it automatically regulates the temperature of the same depending on the age of the piglet; that offers many advantages and is very comfortable.

equipamiento granjas porcinas
Weaning room equipped with Rotecna products. Photo: Rotecna.

They also have the Swing R3 Duo. Why did you choose this hopper model for weaning?
Mainly because of its ease of handling, the easy adaptation of the piglets and the scarce waste of feed. It is a hopper that is very easily regulated and that allows, with little effort for the piglet, to always have feed available. It is very simple to use since by only activating the lever, it allows for a good fall of the feed and is regulated very easily. On the other hand, with the Swing R3 Duo, piglets can access food very easily, without having to make an excessive effort to make the feed drop. In the end what we are looking for is that the piglet, when going to the food and water, has it as easy as possible. In addition, it is a hopper to which piglets adapt easily. During the first days of their arrival, at weaning, they require a little more attention, since, no matter how easy the feed drop-ball mechanism is, they must learn how it works. As the days go by, with this hopper the waste of feed is practically non-existent. 

What other Rotecna products have you installed?
In weaning we have the joists, the Basic Post Beam (support pillar for joists), the slats, the Rotecna separators, and the slates; and in maternities, we have the dispensers. In addition, we have the solid-liquid separator of Tecnapur for slurry management. 

Overall, what do you value about Rotecna?
The confidence it offers and its product quality. It is a more than established company and very well-known throughout the world, and we rely on it because it gives us security and confidence. When we make a new installation, what we look for is that it is comfortable and, above all, that it is durable over time and Rotecna delivers those two factors. 

granja de cerdos
Imagen exterior de la granja. Foto: Rotecna.

Talking about health, what are your main concerns?
The main concern is the strict biosecurity control, both internal and external, to prevent the entry of diseases.

What biosecurity measures are taken on the farm?
We have an exterior fence, something essential and basic. To access the farm, a shower, the use of specific clothing for work areas and the use of farm footwear are mandatory. On the other hand, as far as animals are concerned, it is mandatory to comply with daily hygienic measures such as changing needles, cleaning rooms, etc. 

Finally, what challenges might the future bring for this farm?
We are very demanding and our main challenge is to improve production. In this regard, we have launched a project that wants to ensure that our animals are in the best possible conditions in terms of animal welfare. The project is based on data collection through environmental sensors, which measure parameters such as temperature, humidity, Co2, etc., and which are installed in different places on the farm. The sensors send the data every 15 minutes to a blockchain platform. In this way, we can ensure that the pigs have optimal environmental conditions. With this project we want to lay the foundations to be able to incorporate the latest technologies that guarantee animal welfare in all parts of the Iberian pig breeding process, opening a range of opportunities within the pork sector, both regionally and nationally. I should also mention that the farm has piped music in all its facilities, and so manage to generate greater calm in the animals.

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