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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.

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Environmental Enrichment Strategies for Sows

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Swine Innovation by Ken Engele on March 22, 2018


Summary: This video clip contains testimonials from pig producers who participated in a project to enrich the living space of gestating sows housed in groups. Six farms across Canada participated in this project and three different enrichment items were installed in the sow pens (Photos 1 to 6):

  • A chain suspended from the ceiling, the end of which is approximately 10 cm (4 in.) above the floor (Photos 2 and 3);
  • A piece of wood suspended by a chain, set at a height of 81 to 91 cm (32-36 in.) above the floor (Photos 4 and 5). The height corresponds to the average height of a trough, about the height of a sow’s nose;
  • A Porcichew toy (ring of aromatic plastic), suspended by a chain, fixed at a height of 81 to 91 cm (32-36 inches) above the floor (Photo 2). The height corresponds to the average height of a drinking trough, about the height of a sow’s nose (photo 6).

We would like to thank the following Canadian hog producers who participated in this project:

Mr. John Van Engelen, Hog Tied Farms
Mr. Geert Geene, Amberley Bacon Company
Mr. Tom Kennelly, Sunhaven Farms
Ms. Christine Marcotte, Ferme Sainte-Catherine
Mr. Francis Veilleux, Ferme porcine L.V.
Mr. Ken Waldner, Matador Colony

Photo 1: The three enrichment items installed in the same pen at the Amberley Bacon Company farm (chain, Porcichew and piece of wood).

Photo 2: Chain anchored in the ceiling

Photo 3: Sow playing with the chain

Photo 4: Installation of the piece of wood, fixed on a chain

Photo 5: Sows playing with the piece of wood

Photo 6:  Porcichew 

For more information:

Optimizing flooring and social management of group housed gestating sows


Enriching the living space of pigs to comply with the Code


This project was funded by Swine Innovation Porc within the Swine Cluster 2: Driving Results Through Innovation research program. Funding was provided by Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada through the AgriInnovation Program, provincial producer organizations and industry partners.

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