During the past 10 years, Pork Checkoff has invested more than $1.3 million to fund 20 research projects related to sow gestation housing. The projects focus on key factors to optimize a particular type of housing system.
Full reports of all completed sow housing projects can be found at www.pork.org/research.
Ongoing sow housing research projects include understanding and reducing aggression using pre-exposure when sows are mixed in a group gestation system. Pre-exposure refers to sows that either have or do not have indirect contact prior to mixing.
A second project looks at the effect of mixing practices for gestating sows on measures of reproduction and animal well-being based on days post-insemination.
A third study evaluates protecting low-ranking sows in group-housing systems by the use of feeding stalls.
A final project studies the effects of mixed and uniform parity groupings on feeding behavior, welfare and productivity of sows in electronic sow feeding designs.