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China: a skyscraper, 650,000 pigs... here is the largest pigsty in the world

China, buildings house pigs where health safety is closely monitored. In Ezhou, a second building will be inaugurated to produce 1.2 million pigs per year.

By Inès Cussac
Published on11/20/2023 at 12:10 p.m. & Updated 11/20/2023 at 4:06 p.m.

Behind the windows live pigs. In the city of Hubei, on the outskirts of Ezhou in China , a building complex has housed no less than 80,000 pigs since the end of 2022. A second building is planned for the beginning of 2024 to accommodate up to 600,000 pigs at the same time. The objective is to produce 1.2 million pigs per year at full capacity, reports the newspaper Les Échos . The site is considered the largest “smart” pigsty in the world.

«There are now more than 200 multi-storey farms in China, with more or less success, but we are the only ones to combine so many technologies from different industries», says Zhuge Wenda, CEO and chief scientist of Zhong Xin Kai Wei Modern Husbandry. This company has invested 4 billion yuan in the construction of these two buildings.

Have sufficient production to feed the country

For the hundred employees who work there, living conditions are special: they work, live and sleep on site and are only authorized to leave the building once a month for six days, the duration of their monthly rest. To enter the site, they must pass through a heating room at 65 degrees for ten minutes to reduce bacterial and viral load. Several disinfection and test cycles must be carried out before taking up their post.

As reported by Les Échos , everything is in place to best prevent the appearance and spread of viruses and bacteria. For example, to limit contact with the outside world as much as possible, the entry of food flour grains is automated. It is produced next to the pigsty, transported on a conveyor belt to the giant tanks then distributed to the troughs on the lower floors. The pigs are also under control: they are transported by elevator, the buildings are ventilated with an air conditioning unit and robots monitor temperatures to detect a fever as quickly as possible. Technicians in coveralls also monitor the pigs constantly from screens and computers.

By closely monitoring the health safety of this pigsty, China also ensures food security . The Chinese in fact consume 40% of world pork production, and although the country is the world's leading producer, supply is not sufficient in relation to demand.

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600,000 pigs in a skyscraper: China reinvents the pigsty

The farm where pigs are raised on 26 floors opened its doors at the end of 2022. A second building will be inaugurated at the beginning of 2024. The goal is to produce 1.2 million pigs per year at full capacity. Beijing has made food security one of its priorities and is counting on these “smart” megafarms.


By Frédéric Schaeffer
Published on Nov 20, 2023 at 7:17 am
Updated Nov. 20, 2023 at 8:22 a.m.
Special envoy to Ezhou

The two 26-story building blocks have the classic appearance of the large, austere residences springing up in new urban areas across China. But these are not new city dwellers from the Chinese middle class who live in this immense real estate complex on the outskirts of Ezhou, a city in Hubei, in central China. Under the gaze of a thousand surveillance cameras, more than 80,000 pigs live here, the first residents of the site inaugurated at the end of 2022. They will soon be joined by tens of thousands of others. The site will be able to accommodate up to 600,000 pigs at the same time, once the second skyscraper is scheduled to come into service in early 2024.


La ferme où sont élevés des cochons sur 26 étages a ouvert ses portes fin 2022. Un deuxième bâtiment sera inauguré début 2024. L'objectif est de produire 1,2 million de porcs par an en pleine capacité. Pékin a érigé la sécurité alimentaire parmi ses priorités et compte sur ces mégafermes « intelligentes ».