Sow Housing and Electronic Feeding
In our loose housing facilities, we allow for the fact that pigs, in general, are social creatures. They will thrive not only on healthy interaction with each other but also with your personnel within the barn. Barn designs that allow interaction for pigs that desire it and that allow the people within the barn to engage with the animals freely are the most successful swine barns. In group sow housing with electronic sow feeding (ESF), sows typically hang out with the same friends each day and will even use the same laying area each day. We design knowing the social needs of sows and issues that may arise if those needs aren’t met.
Sow housing remodels can be daunting tasks, but they don't have to be. With proper planning and the right hog barn design, the remodel should run smoothly. We want to provide you with everything you need to know about a sow housing remodel before you make the decision.
It's true, effective group sow housing depends on high quality ESF equipment. But purchasing and installing top of the line equipment does not make your gestation pens instantly efficient and profitable. It goes deeper into the design and support for the system. When talking to an ESF equipment supplier, make sure to ask the following questions.
Thomas Livestock's Pigeon Creek barn houses around 5,000 sows and up until recently, these sows were in traditional stalls. As a part of their complete conversion to group sow housing, this barn was due for a remodel. Check out this timelapse to get an inside look at how the barn transitioned to gestation pens.
Deciding to house and feed sows in group gestation pens is not something to bat an eye at. It's a decision that comes with a lot of work and hours of planning, but the payoff is well worth it. Hear from Chet of Pig Hill Farms on what the process is like when deciding to implement group sow housing from planning to final training to maintenance and ongoing support.
Get a first hand account of operations inside a group housing facility by listening to what Janae Metzger from Pig Hill Farms has to say about working in an ESF barn.
While ESF equipment alone cannot guarantee a functional group gestation pen, quality and durable electronic feeding equipment is an integral part of a great pen design. That is why we have chosen to partner with Nedap for our feed systems. Nedap has always lead the industry in technological advancements, and their data collection and complete barn management systems make their ESF system the only one that allows producers to effectively manage large pens.
At New Standard, we strongly believe that forward exiting electronic feeders facilitate the best barn layout for sows. In addition to being supported by research, forward exiting just plain works. Find out more on why forward exiting is vital to ESF success.
When talking with our customers, we often use this phrase. We use it to emphasize that the attitude and belief in an ESF group housing system can be just as important as the system itself. The people running the barn need to believe in the system and how it should operate first, only then will they be able to make it work.