Tools to Help Select Group Sow Housing Systems

by 5m Editor
22 March 2012, at 7:06am

CANADA - The University of Manitoba expects new tools being developed to help pork producers planning the switch to group sow housing choose the system that best matches their management to be ready for use by this coming fall, Bruce Cochrane.

Manitoba Pork Council has committed to encouraging the province's pork producers to transition from conventional stall housing of pregnant sows to group housing by 2025.

The University of Manitoba is working in partnership with Manitoba Pork to develop new tools to help pork producers considering the change select the system that will work best for their particular management systems.

Dr Laurie Connor, the Head of the University of Manitoba's Department of Animal Science, notes no one group housing system will be ideal for all situations so producers need to consider a range of factors including their feeding system, the type of flooring, their manure handling system and group size when considering the switch to group housing.

Dr Laurie Connor-University of Manitoba

Many of the existing barns, the actual shell or the barn itself are of an age that they still have considerable useable life remaining where as the equipment inside is approaching an age when it will need to be replaced and so now is also an opportunity to say, OK if we're needing to do something with these stalls, replace them or go to group housing, this is a good time then to consider going to group housing.

So the goal of this is to provide these types of tools and the method then of converting the barns to group housing.

We've been working on it about a year now and the goal is to have it basically wrapped up and ready for workshops late this coming fall in 2012.

Dr Connor says the goal is to provide a tool that will help pork producers in decision making and in understanding of how these systems operate and what it takes to make them operate successfully.

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