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Decisions Regarding Sow Housing Conversion Vary Regionally
Dr. Jennifer Brown - Prairie Swine Centre

Farmscape for November 5, 2014

A research scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre says pork producers in some parts of Canada are planning renovations to meet new sow housing requirements, while producers in other regions are opting to build new facilities.
Under Canada's new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs any new building or buildings that are renovated must now provide loose housing for sows.
Success in Sow Housing will be among the topics discussed this month at the Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2014 in Saskatoon.
Dr. Jennifer Brown, a research scientist in ethology with the Saskatoon based Prairie Swine Centre says with the changes to the code of practice, as well as announcements by Canadian retailers that they want pork from sows raised in loose housing, there is additional pressure and movement toward group housing.

Clip-Dr. Jennifer Brown-Prairie Swine Centre:
There does seem to be much more interest in the conversion process.
Certainly in Quebec a lot of producers are already making this change.
They are accepting that there's going to be a demand for pigs produced in loose housing systems so they've actively gone ahead with some barn renovations.
In Ontario I've been to some barns, both new builds and conversions to group housing and there are some in the western provinces but there it's typically new builds.
Because of the large herd sizes out here the whole idea of converting is going to be a more costly investment so I think that's delaying some of the adoption and also people that are choosing to change to group housing are more often selecting to produce a new barn so you're not having to make compromises around fitting around older building footprints and manure systems.

Dr. Brown says the majority of these loose housing barns are using electronic sow feeders but there are other options.
She notes the Prairie Swine Centre plans to launch a web site in the new year that will outline various options.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council

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