We love to celebrate the success of our customers! Thomas Livestock, based out of Broken Bow, Nebraska, was recently featured by the National Hog Farmer. We've been honored to partner with Thomas Livestock in their conversion to group sow housing.
The major question that arises in the group housing planning process relates to pen design and sow grouping strategy. Should I design around static or dynamic sow pens? And should I house the sows in large or small groups?
The research is in and it shows you should go with...well either really. In practice and in research facilities, both static and dynamic pens will produce at a high level with skilled management. According to a review of research by the Prairie Swine Centre, there are no significant differences in birth rate, still births, lameness, or any other major production measurements among sows in static groups and dynamic groups.
While either pen strategy could work for you, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of both.
I know we spend a lot of time sharing information about the care and housing of sows; so much so that sometimes we may appear to lose sight of the bigger picture. Which in this case is actually the little picture. If great care for the sows is important, and increased production is the result, then it stands to reason that once you have done all of that you also need to focus on what you’re going to with all those little piglets.
It doesn’t matter if you are an ISO-wean barn selling your piglets or are responsible for feeding them to market, the job just gets started once they are born. So let’s look at a few things that can be done to ensure that the little guy has the best chance possible.
Francis Forst from Synergy LLC in Missouri knew he wanted to go with group sow housing and an electronic sow feeding system (ESF system), and he did his research on businesses that could partner with him to help him do it. That research led him to New Standard. For Forst, the biggest difference between New Standard and the competition has been our follow up training, education, and service. But don't take our word for it, hear it from Forst himself in his interview with our own Kevin Kurbis.
Learn how Kent Mogler and the staff at Pig Hill Farm in northwest Iowa have implemented data collection systems in their sow barn to help them make timely and accurate decisions.