Sow Well-Being in Extensive Gestating Sow Housing: Outdoor and Hoop Barn Systems

Extensive gestating sow housing is an area of increased interest. Forces related to animal welfare, environmental protection, farm size and structure, and increasing building and energy costs have fueled the interest. The development of niche or special markets for pork that require production systems with certain attributes (outdoors, bedding, etc.) are also encouraging interest. Extensive can be defined in several ways. Synonyms for extensive include expansive, spacious, large, broad, widespread, or elastic. Extensive agriculture is defined as “farming in which large areas of land are utilized with minimum (capital) outlay and labor.” Thus, extensive sow housing is characterized by plenty of space for the sows, low capital investment, and the ability to be readily expanded.