Females are housed in group pens or individual stalls with common feed and water troughs during gestation. Productivity is greater in stalls than in pens, because social competition is prevented in stalls. Fighting among sows for prime space in a pen situation can lead to pregnancy loss due to trauma." In pens, sows are fed on the floor. In stalls, sows are fed in a common water and feed trough, although individual feeders are used to automate the feeding process. Sows are limit fed to control weight gain during gestation.
This image depicts a gestation barn. The aisleway in the middle runs between the backs of the stalls. This aisle provides access to the females for pregnancy checks, and vaccinations. Aisles also run in front of the stalls. The common feed and water trough lines the front of the stalls.
Here is a gestating sow in her stall. The front gate slopes to provide her with access to the common feed and water trough. The sows can lie down and stand, but they cannot turn around in this type of stall.
New innovations in stall design allow sows to turn around by means of a movable partition between two stalls. Only one sow can turn around at a time and sows cooperate socially in managing their partitions.
Copyright ©1997 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty: Dr. Paul Pitcher
Student: Sandra Springer,'99