Pork producers seek best practices, new
opportunities in loose sow housing.
The definition of “loose sow housing” allows
a lot of room for adjustments regarding
Space recommendations seem to
vary, but one thing that may be surprising
is that modern group sow housing systems may
require no more square footage per animal
than gestation stalls!
Clearly, animals housed in group sow housing
systems have much greater mobility compared
to an operation that greatly limits the
animals’ mobility. But what does it take to
make group sow housing a viable option for
modern pork production? Electronic Sow
Feeding, (ESF) and the right genetics.
ESF is recommended as the best feeding
system for loose sow housing. It allows the
producer to control each sow’s feed intake.
If offers protected feeding, which reduces
animal stress. System identification ear
tags prevent sows from overfeeding. Most
systems offer valuable data reports for the
producer to track feed usage and subsequent
All this said, pork producers are making
successful transitions to loose sow housing
from a wide variety of production facility
circumstances. Space and feeding systems are
two crucial facility considerations in that
Another vital consideration, of course, is
the animal itself. All the fine facilities
in the world don’t matter if the genetics