Winter Farrowing in a Low-input System
Long cold winters in Minnesota make it difficult to achieve two farrowings per sow per year in a pasture-based swine production system. If the problem can be solved without large capital investment, smaller farmers have a chance of competing with larger, integrated confinement systems.
Objectives: To erect a "Bio-tech Hoop Structure" to be utilized with deep bedding and porta huts for late March farrowing and summer finishing.
Results: First-year farrowing was quite successful. Following weaning, the sows were turned out to pasture and the structure was utilized as a finshing unit. The project was extended for one year to allow for additional outreach activities and data collection.