There are many different housing designs used in today’s U.S. pork industry that provide for the well-being of the gestating sow. These housing designs usually fit in one of two categories:
- Individual housing which includes the individual stall system. In this system, sows are housed in a structure large enough for one sow to stand up and lie down. There are several variations in stall designs.
- Group housing which includes free access stalls, trickle feeding, electronic sow feeding stations and deep bedded systems to name a few of the many different variations in group housing systems in use. Group sizes may range from five sows per pen up to more than 100 sows per pen.
Each housing design has unique advantages and disadvantages for the well-being of the sow. There are many factors that contribute to the success of a particular type of housing system but none more so than the caretaker's husbandry skills.
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