Group housing guidelines

Teagasc has outlined the various options for group housing of pigs in 2013.

Their report, titled Towards January 2013: Updates, implications and options for group housing pregnant sows, was launched last Friday.

This reference document for producers switching to group housing provides a set of blueprints for the guidance of producers in selecting and designing loose housing systems. It also incorporates best practice guidelines on mixing sows, rearing and managing replacement gilts, preventing and treating lameness in loose housed sows, feeding loose housed sows and environmental advice.

In 2013, dry sows and served gilts must be housed in groups and mostly not in individual pens.

Pig producers will not be permitted to confine pregnant sows in individual pens, or stalls during the period from four weeks after service to one week before the expected date of farrowing. At this time, pregnant sows/gilts must be kept in groups.

Teagasc Pigs Programme head Ciaran Carroll said the publication will assist producers and farm staff in making the right decisions for their pigs and business.


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