One of the innovations in Rex Alphin's new breeding and gestation building in southeast Virginia are split, double-hinged gates positioned in heavily used aisles. The side panels are held together with a hook- and-eye at the top. A year's worth of daily use in the 600-sow structure, Alphin says, confirms that the unique gate arrangement is convenient and saves time.

"Believe me, it is a whole lot easier in a high-use location like a breeding barn to open and refasten the gate sections with a hook rather than having to slip out a gate rod and replace it," he says. "And we can easily direct sows or gilts where we want them to go."

Each 5/8-inch plywood gate section is 30 inches wide. Metal hinges on both sides fit into gate-rod holders.