A researcher with the Prairie Swine Centre expects new tools intended to help pork producers convert sow barns from stall housing to group housing be available early in the new year.
As part of a National Sow Housing Conversion Project being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc researchers with the University of Manitoba, CDPQ, the Prairie Swine Centre, FGC Groenenstage Construction and Manitoba Pork are developing new tools to help pork producers convert from stall sow housing to group housing.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, a postdoctoral fellow in swine ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, says the goal is to create a one stop shop where producers can to find the most current information on barn conversion.
Dr. Yolande Seddon-Prairie Swine Centre:
We're actually, as part of the objective, establishing a National Sow Housing Working Group.
These are members that producers can contact in each of the major pig producing provinces and these members can directly advise them on their group sow housing dilemmas or questions and if they need to speak to someone different they can direct them right away to the correct person who will get the information for them really talking out the hassle of trying to search around for it.
We're developing fact sheets for producers.
We're also putting all of the information we learn on a national web site so that when a producer hopefully Googles "group sow housing" this is the first thing that will pop up.
We're actually following four producers who are converting to group housing, two in the east and two in the west, and their profiles and their barn conversion process will be documented entirely from start to finish.
Also we're following 10, we're calling them secondary sites for now, but no less.
They are actually barns that have already converted or have been a new build to group housing and this is documenting the information from the producers about how they are finding running their group system, why did they go for this system in particular.
Dr. Seddon expects the new web site to operational in early 2015.