The sows look out from their farrowing crates whole their piglets walk in the piglet sleeping area. The crates are designed with the sow in the center and space for the piglets on either side of her.
These litters are less than 1 hour old. Note the blue bars running across the sows' sides.The side bars on these crates exert inward tension, so that the female must use her weight to push them apart in order to lie down. This helps prevent the sow from flopping down on the piglets. In addition, the bars must be spaced to ensure access to the udder for the piglets.
The flooring in this farrowing facility is adequate for the sow. However, it is drafty and uncomfortable for the piglets. This litter has clumped together to keep warm. Temperature stress can lead to lowered immune function and poor growth rates.
Farrowing almost always AIAO so sows are grouped to farrow on the same day. Rooms are sized to accomodate 1 group. The number of rooms is dictated by:
- frequency of farrowing (weekly, semiweekly, biweekly, monthly)
- weaning age
The number of farrowing groups is dictated by:
- frequency of farrowing
- farrowing interval
Q If farrowing is weekly and sows farrow 2.2 times per year, how many sow groups will you have? A
This sow is alert and sitting up. She was moved into the farrowing room about one day before her due date. Note the heat lamp in the crate behind her; the neighboring sow already has a newborn litter.
Copyright ©1997 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty: Dr. Paul Pitcher
Student: Sandra Springer,'99