Group Sow Housing Website
Researchers are seeking input from pork producers as it fine tunes this new website which focuses on transitioning from conventional stall housing to group housing of gestating sows. In response to Canada's new Pig Code of Practice, which requires all new sow gestation barns to use group housing, a multi-disciplinary multi-institutional team of scientists and engineers, working in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, has launched the site to provide information for producers considering building new or converting existing sow barns to group housing.
Ontario Pork has also developed a four part video series on making the switch to group sow housing. The videos feature Ontario production units (150-350 sow operations) that have converted barns to include loose penning.
The producers' experiences with the construction process and the care and handling of the animals after the conversion are highlighted. The designs of each system takes into account normal sow behaviour and the steps taken to minimize sow aggression relative to access to food, water, space and resting areas.