Canadian Farms Converting to Group Sow Housing Accelerates

CANADA - A scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre says, as Canadian Pig Code of Practice 2024 deadline for converting to group sow housing approaches, the level of interest in making the change is accelerating, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 28 November 2016
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As part of the National Sow Housing Conversion Project, being conducted in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, scientists are assisting Canadian pork producers in converting to group sow housing.

Sow Housing systems was the topic of a panel discussion during Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2016 in Saskatoon earlier this month.

Dr Jenifer Brown, a Research Scientist Ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, says interest is increasing.

Dr Jenifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre:

A couple of years ago it was focused largely in Quebec because they were looking at their export markets and how to compete with the Europeans and so looking more actively towards groups.

I was to some presentations in Ontario this year and the first wave of renovations has gone on in Ontario so a lot of strong interest in group housing.

I'd say overall less interest in the west but certainly we do have some sows already in group housing but we are seeing that interest grow.

I think partly in western Canada we've got some larger sow herds so it's a bigger investment.

We've got some older barn infrastructure so better to maybe hold back and build new.

So we have seen the wave going across the country.

With smaller barns I think we're seeing more renovations and overall in large herds maybe some new builds.

Maple Leaf is very active in Manitoba.

I know they've converted nine barns at least by now. So we are seeing it take off basically across the country now.

For more on the National Sow Housing Conversion Project visit groupsowhousing,com.

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