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Gestation Housing Systems: Auditing Best Management Practices: Part 4

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by student on August 3, 2018

Author: Ken Engele, BSA

Reference: Centred on Swine Fall 2018, Volume 24, Number 2

Summary: At the forefront of swine production is the change to group sow housing. As a means to provide more information to producers and aid them in making the conversion by the 2024 deadline this article focuses on the best management practices in relation to many gestation housing systems.

Nine of the 24 facilities that were audited incorporated group sow housing into their practice. It has been estimated that nation wide 15% of sows are being housed in group housing.

Of the facilities that were audited who are currently housing their sows in a group housed setting two thirds of them have chosen to incorporate a non-competitive feeding system. For those who have chosen to utilize a competitive feeding system have typically done so due to the cheaper cost associated with conversion.

Electronic sow feeding systems are an effective measure for data collection and a herd management tool. An opportunity that electronic feeding systems generally offer is the ability to feed multiple gestation diets through the sow herd. Research has displayed the need for parity specific diets due to amino acid and energy requirements.

For producers who are looking to make the transition to group sow housing there are many resources that they can access. They can go to the website: www.groupsowhousing.com to find a variety of information.

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