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5 Tips for Free-Farrowing Pigs

5 Tips for Free-Farrowing Pigs

Free-farrowing is a system of pig farming where sows are allowed to give birth and raise their piglets without staying in a farrowing crate. This system is reported to have many benefits, including improved piglet welfare, reduced injuries, and increased sow productivity.

IF you are considering switching to Free-Farrowing, below are 5 best practices to help you with free-farrowing pigs:

Pen size and design: The pens should be at least 2.4 m x 3.2 m, with protective rails on the walls and no farrowing crates. This will give the sows enough space to move around comfortably and prevent piglet crushing.

Creep area and temperature: The creep area should be heated to 25-30 degrees Celsius, which is warmer than the rest of the pen. This will provide a safe and comfortable place for the piglets to rest and nurse.

Socialization: The sows should be socialized to people from a young age. This will help them to be more calm and cooperative during farrowing.

Nest building: Sows like to build nests for their piglets. Providing them with nesting materials, such as straw, will help them to do this and will make the farrowing process more natural.

Dietary fiber and water: Sows should be fed a diet that is high in fiber. This will help to prevent constipation and will also help to increase milk production.

Following these tips can help you ensure that your free-farrowing pigs have a safe and comfortable experience.

For additional information about best livestock management and practices, please visit the following link:


Photo Credit: istock-srdjan-stepic

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Categories: Indiana, Livestock, Hogs

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