Multiple Choices: Group Housing a Test for Researchers
Transitioning to group sow housing involves major renovations and changes to daily management. One of the best resources on the transition is the producers who have already switched over. An important consideration to make is which feeding system to use. Many of the early adopters chose electronic sow feeding (ESF) systems since there is greater control of individual feeding and it can accommodate higher sow numbers per square foot compared to other systems. There is some training involved to get the pigs accustomed to the ESF system though. Competitive feeding systems are also an option since they are cheaper, but they are also more difficult to manage and often result in overfeeding the dominant animals. Some farmers are already seeing some benefits from their group housing system such as moving sows being a lot easier now that they are more active. There is a website and a newsletter that will help provide many resources for choosing the right group house system for your barn.
Multiple Choices – Group Housing a Test for Researchers (full article)