Date Full Report Received10/25/2013
Date Abstract Report Received10/25/2013
Funded ByNational Pork Board
Gestation sow housing is a current contemporary animal welfare issue. The current political atmosphere is driving producers to consider changing back to group housing systems for gestating sows. It is important for producers converting to group housing systems that they know the best way in which to manage their system. Group housing systems that incorporate group feeding pose specific management challenges for the producer and can potentially impact the welfare of the sow. This literature review summarizes the current available literature that discusses research conducted on group housed and group fed breeding and pregnant sows and the impact these systems have on production performance/efficiency, lifetime productivity and overall well-being of the sow. Several factors appear to affect the productivity and well-being of group housed and fed gestating sows, including space allowance, feeding frequency and provision of bedding. The main gaps in our knowledge include information on the impact of genetics, group size, air quality, time of grouping and group type. These findings are summarized in the producer factsheet and research needs assessment.