Farmscape for June 22, 2018
A Research Scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre says electronic sow feeding appears to the wave of the future for gestating sows in Canada.
As part of a project conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc conversions from stall housing of gestating sows to group housing have been documented to provide information to assist other producers planning to make the change.
Dr. Jennifer Brown, a Research Scientist Ethology with the Prairie Swine Centre, told those on hand earlier this month for a panel discussion on Electronic Sow Feeding, held as part of World Pork Expo, the majority of producers moving to group housing are adopting some form of electronic sow feeding.
Clip-Dr. Jennifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre:
I think ESF is the wave of the future.
People like working with these systems because the automation takes care of a lot of the sow needs and allows for very individual feeding.
If you go into these barns you see very consistent body condition and we all know that a consistent body condition will increase productivity and also give you more reliable litters and rebreeding of sows.
It adds that degree of control.
In the barns that have adopted it we haven't seen any changes in the number of staff.
People say that there's a change in the type of work that people do and, in general, it's a more pleasant barn to work in because you actually get to interact with the animals.
Some people were concerned initially about aggression or how do you do preg checking or vaccinations?
Clearly the panel members all explained that they have no problem.
The system actually facilitates these chores in the barn and gives people more time to actually look at health and maintenance of the sows.
Dr. Brown says up to 20 percent of the sow population is now in ESF housing and that's expected to grow in the coming years.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork