Influence of Farrowing Crate Design on Sow Productivity: A Demonstration Project
This demonstration project studied the differences in farrowing crate designs and the survival of piglets. Three basic crate designs were studied: crates with hydraulic side rails, crates with solid rod finger side rails, and freestall crates. Crates with hydraulic sides in this study had more pigs born alive, had fewer pigs born dead, weaned more pigs, and had higher weaned litter weights than any other crate studied. The freestall crates had the least number of pigs born alive, weaned fewest pigs, and had the lightest litter weaned weights. Freestall crates fell in the middle of hydraulic and solid rod crates for pigs born dead. The solid rod crates fell in the middle of hydraulic and freestall crates for pigs born alive and weaned litter weight. Solid rod crates weaned slightly more pigs than freestalls. Solid rod crates had the most number of pigs born dead. Flooring layout was not replicated for all crate designs. Although flooring may have had an influence on the results it was not measurable in this study.