By Bruce Cochrane.
A new internet web site has been launched to provide information that will be of use to pork producers planning to covert to group housing of gestating sows.
As part of a National Sow Housing Conversion Project, initiated on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, a new web site has been launched to provide information to assist pork producers as they consider converting housing for gestating sows from stalls to group housing.
The project, which involves a multi-disciplinary multi-institutional team of scientists and engineers, revolves around the conversion of sow barns across Canada, 4 of which are being fully monitored and documented and 10 of which are being assessed and documented, to provide examples that be used as reference.
Dr. Jenifer Brown, a research scientist ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, says at this point the site contains information on 8 conversions.
Jenifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre:
The website is http://www.groupsowhousing.com
and on the site we've got some featured producers so you can click on that link and go to each individual barn example and then, within those links, it will tell you how they actually did the conversion and the layout of the new barn.
Then there's a gallery of photos showing you what it looks like on the new site.
We've also got some newsletters with information about the project and specific articles about how to manage sows in groups and a number of resources so links to other information that's available on the web sites and factsheets on the different feeding systems that are available
We've got a page there describing the economics and what the costs are and some pros and cons of the different feeding systems in terms of their space requirements and costs and then a little information about the project and the funding.
Dr. Brown says the hope is that people will be able to find something similar to their barn design or herd size that they can use as an example of how to convert.