Mating & Gestation - Pen design
In order to stimulate heat for the sows, there must be the possibility of direct contact with at least one boar (snout by snout). By housing sows individually in a crate, the stall must be designed with an aisle in front of the crates - divided by a boar gates to define the area.
The boar gates can be provided with a fiber/ fiberglass or a panel plate, preventing the sows to see or to make contact with each other which provides optimum heat stimulation when the boar enters. Boar gates are available in different widths, which can be adapted to different widths of aisles. Boar gates (made of panels) can be operated manually from the rear of the crate, minimizing working time when moving the boar to the next group.
Loose housing - one crate per sow
Pens with stalls are arranged with activity and manure area between the rows of crates and a bedding area, defined as a combined area with litter where the sows can rest.
The stalls are self-lockers that automatically close when a sow enters the crate, thus preventing more animals from trying to enter the same crate. The crates can be closed - either manually or automatically, when the animals are fed, thus facilitating daily supervision and overview of the animals. The crates can be locked in a row or individually to accommodate an individual handling of the animals.
Gestation gilts and sows can be housed in group penning with either wet or dry feeding. The pens are sized according to the number of animals and are designed with a resting area and a manure area. Pens for dry feeding can be arranged with feeding on solid floor or with feeding in troughs with partion at the front and one eatery per sow. Pens for wet feeding can be arranged with double trough for each two pens or with a single trough in each pen.
Group penning can also be arranged with low resting walls to maintain good resting behavior and to accommodate social interactions between the animals.
The gestation unit can be arranged with electronic sow feeding (ESF) for gilts and sows in either dynamic or stable groups. The pens in an ESF unit are dimensioned according to the number of sows and gilts - and are designed with a well-defined resting area and manure area. The resting area can be established with low walls to accommodate good lying behavior, while giving the animals better escape routes during a fight. Likewise, walls can be installed in the manure area, contributing to better behavior and better hygiene in the
pen. The unit can be arranged so that the animals can be sorted in the transponder, either by using fixed mounted walls or with flexible gate solutions.