Effects on Production and Health of Two Types of Housing for Pregnant Gilts

Purdue University 2002 Swine Research Report. There is increasing public concern about the welfare implications of confinement housing systems for farm animals. Gestation stalls are a common method of housing pregnant swine in the USA. Single housing of pregnant sows in stalls and on tethers has been criticized because these systems severely restrict females freedom of movement. However, single housing allows easy individual control of feed intake and minimizes aggression, factors which may compromise the welfare of sows housed in groups. Welfare concerns have led to the recent decision to phase out gestation stalls in the European Union. Few previous studies have directly compared stall and group housing systems under controlled conditions and using a multidisciplinary approach. A study was designed to compare the effects on production and health of housing gilts throughout one pregnancy in either gestation stalls or groups of four with individual feeding