- Animals: swine
- Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed rations, housing
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension
- Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, value added
- Production Systems: holistic management
This project will test individual swine feeding stalls made from recycled gestation crates for use in group-housed sow operations. Each gestation crate comes with a waterer, feed trough and rear door. By feeding sows in individual stalls, feed intake can be adjusted according to each sow’s needs to optimize body condition and eliminate waste feed. Fetal loss, which can occur when sows fight at feeding time, should be greatly reduced, and the opportunity for artificial insemination enhanced. Recycling used gestation crates also saves on nonrenewable resources. The reduced costs and improved profits of such a system, says producer Deanna Quan, could make this a more appealing choice over factory farms with their confined facilities and waste lagoons.