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): Y. Li and H.W. Gonyou
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Reference: Prairie Swine Centre Annual Research Report 2003 pp. 23
Country: Canada


The housing of gestating sows as proven to be one of the more controversial topics of pig production. Four major group-housing systems are available to replace the conventional gestation stalls, all of which have different management options. The PSC Elstow Research Farm has chosen to use the electronic sow feeder (ESF) system as a group system, and is examining a number of management options within this system. Half of the 600-sow herd is housed in the group housing system with ESF on partially slatted floors while the other half are housed in gestation stalls. The four aspects being compared are productivity and behaviour of gilts and sows of different parities, relative benefits of grouping animals shortly after breeding or after implantation and its interaction with parity, the management of animals in static and large dynamic groups and all electronic sow feeder groups are compared with animals managed in conventional stalls. Preliminary results have shown that younger animals tend to perform better in stalls, while older sows do better in the ESF system. “Add ins” or post implantation animals performed better than those grouped shortly after breeding. Older animals performed better in static programs, while gilts did better in dynamic programs. Overall, the stall system outperformed the ESF; however, this was not the case for the ESF management programs. As this study continues, behavioural and physiological observations will be included.

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