Thomas Livestock's Pigeon Creek barn houses around 5,000 sows and up until recently, these sows were in traditional stalls. As a part of their complete conversion to group sow housing, this barn was due for a remodel. Watch the timelapse below.
If you work in a sow barn, when is the last time you stopped to consider the feelings of the ladies you spend your days
This isn’t simply an attempt to get your attention. How your sows feel has a direct impact on how they act and react; and how they feel, act and react to their environment will significantly impact their reproductive performance.
If you’ve been in the pork industry for any length of time you know one thing to be true: global pork markets are changing. European markets have moved to loose sow housing and Canada is following closely behind. While the US markets have not yet demanded all producers move in this direction, the writing's on the wall.
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.
When talking with our customers, we often use this phrase. We use it to emphasize that the attitude and belief in an ESF group housing system can be just as important as the system itself. The people running the barn need to believe in the system and how it should operate first, only then will they be able to make it work. When you come across challenges in a loose housing barn (and you will), if you believe there is a solution, you will find it. If you believe that the system is flawed, then you will blame that on the system, your staff, or some other element of your operation instead of looking any further for a solution.
Deciding to house and feed sows in group gestation pens is not something to bat an eye at. It's a decision that comes with a lot of work and hours of planning, but the payoff is well worth it. Hear from Chet of Pig Hill Farms on what the process is like when deciding to implement group sow housing from planning to final training to maintenance and ongoing support.
How long does it take a group of sows to develop a social hierarchy? Do the pigs struggle getting used to group pens and Electronic Sow Feeding? When implementing group sow housing for the first time, quite a few questions about feeding sows and animal behavior arise. We want to help answer those questions! So we compiled a few answers to some of the common questions we hear into an easy to digest graphic.
Those unfamiliar with well-designed group housing for sows may think that a large open pen will be prone to stress, higher disease rates and an increase in general health problems. With good hog barn designs, sows are actually maintaining good health in loose housing. It's easier than you might think.