Prairie Swine Centre

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Harold W. Gonyou, Ph.D.
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
Reference: Proceedings of the 2005 Manitoba Swine Seminar
Country: Canada


Sow housing is one of the most controversial topics of animal well-being. As such, animal production must accommodate the five freedoms: 1) Freedom of movement; 2) Freedom from aggression; 3) Control over individual feed intake; 4) Environmental enrichment (manipulative substances such as straw bedding); and 5) Static space. There are four group housing alternatives to stalls that can better meet these requirements:

Floor feeding with proper management provides plenty of freedom of movement and static space. The problem with floor feeding is the availability of food for the dominant sows in the group. This leads to aggression within the group, which can have drastic effects pre-implantation.

Short feeding stalls (or trickle feeders) can be utilized. These are partial stalls where sows can eat while having their head and shoulders protected. The feed is trickled in at such a rate that sows do not overeat and that it is not beneficial for them to move over to their neighbors stall. Animals must be sorted by eating rate.

Sows can also be moved into individual feeder stalls and fed individually. This is great for monitoring how much each sow eats, but is labor intensive.

Electronic sow feeders are the best for monitoring feed intake. Sows are tagged and enter a feeder system where it disperses the correct amount of feed corresponding to that tag.

Aside from these four strategies, there is ongoing research that looks at changes that can be made to conventional gestation stalls that may provide better freedom of movement. Problems with the electronic sow feeder at the Prairie Swine Center include lameness and gilt training.

Download PDF »

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Slots Master There is no definite strategy or technique that you can use as you play slots