Loose sow

Published On: 15/02/2023Categories: Livestock, News

There are many ways of housing sows during the farrowing period, but the latest trend in terms of animal welfare is certainly the free farrowing box.

This type of farrowing box makes use of large surfaces (from 5.5 to 7 m2 and more per box) allowing the sow to spend most of her time free from the constraints of the cage. These measurements allow her to significantly lower the level of stress and cortisol and leave her free to get up and go to bed in a natural way or to create a nest.

The sow, however, can be confined in the cage during the days strictly necessary for farrowing in order to minimize the mortality of the piglets during the early stages of life. Subsequently, it is released into the box, which is equipped with an area sheltered from the sow in which the piglets can rest peacefully.

Our recommendations:

The perimeter of the box where the sow has access must be safe for the piglets and equipped with special “anti-crushing” systems which help the sow not to crush her calves during the sitting phase.
The pen must be articulated so that both the sow and her litter can have maximum freedom of movement in safety, guaranteeing optimized ergonomics for the operator.
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