17th November 2023

Affordable improvements to pig housing

In 2020, the AHDB released the results of a survey of pig farmers which found that more than a third of pig housing in England had reached or exceeded its recommended lifespan.[1]

Financial uncertainty, the cost of building new sheds and access to capital were key barriers to investment, especially with the increasing production costs.

With the cost of building materials, like steel and wood, increasing by around 60% over the last decade the situation will have only got worse for many producers.

However, this blog explores how Galebreaker’s cost-effective flexible clip-on screens at £22/m, compared to traditional Yorkshire boarding at approximately £25/m, are a solution for improving pig housing at a lower cost. , are a solution for improving pig housing at a lower cost.

Read on to find out why weatherproofing pig housing is so important and all the benefits of flexible clip-on screens.

The importance of weatherproofing pig housing

Building ventilation and weatherproofing impacts temperature, wind chill and air quality, which will affect pigs’ live weight gain and increase their risk of disease and stress levels.

Having adequate ventilation means that the building can be consistently kept at the correct temperature with a good flow of fresh air to reduce the spread of respiratory diseases.

Even if the air temperature is mild, pigs need an effective windbreak and protection from wet weather to keep bedding dry. If the lying area is drafty, cold or damp, pigs may congregate in dunging areas which would cause stress and increase disease risk.

A cost-effective weatherproofing solution

Flexible clip-on screens utilise panels of PVC coated polyester mesh to increase the ventilation, without compromising on weather protection.

The wide range of different materials offer varying levels of permeability, while remaining rot proof, UV stabilised and flame retardant.

For example, Bayscreens offer 15 times more natural light, twice as much ventilation and 20% more windbreak efficiency as traditional Yorkshire boarding, while maintaining the same low level of rain penetration.

Galebreaker’s ventilation systems not only improve the level of natural light and ventilation within housing but they also increase the flexibility of the housing with their ability to be raised or lowered.

Unlike some traditional building materials, the mesh screens have a 10-year Galebreaker Guarantee, with all component parts, like fans, motors, and system controllers, are guaranteed for 3 years.

Additionally, all Galebreaker products conform to European standard BS EN 13241, offering a peace of mind that is not always the case with other more expensive products.

Although the mesh screens are tear resistant, they can be quickly repaired if they come damaged and do not require regular maintenance.

Retro-fitting flexible clip-on screens

In existing sheds with a solid lower wall and a more open top half, you could utilise a cover which uses high-performance permeable fabric to weatherproof but allow ventilation, but you should always seek advice to find the best mesh to suit your system and requirements.

Using a fabric screen also has the bonus of being easily installed as they can be easily removed to further increase airflow through the housing when needed.

Galebreaker’s Bayscreens are market leader for cost effective, fast fitting, weather protection. The built in tensioning system means that no drilling is needed, offering the ultimate flexibility while still delivering excellent ventilation.

A more advanced solution is the VVS curtain system which has an automatic control system that uses weather stations to monitor the external temperature, wind speed, wind direction and rain fall. The curtains are then automatically positioned to ensure that the climate within the building is continually optimised leading to increased daily weight gain and lower disease risk.


[1] AHDB 2019 Pig buildings and housing | AHDB