In mating and gestation units, the sows spend the most of their reproductive life, and it is in these sections that the creation of good results throughout the sow team is created. Well-designed mating and gestation units provide optimal conditions for reproduction, ensure good animal welfare and provide good working conditions for the staff.
Mating and gestation units are designed with focus on animal flow and logistics in the herd and may be adapted to integration of young females. The units are subjected to huge impact and strain from the animals, thus great demands on strength and durability of the housing system in these sections.
Loose housing - one crate per sow
Gestation gilts and sows can be housed in group penning with either wet or dry feeding. The pens are sized according to the number of animals and are designed with a resting area and a manure area. Pens for dry feeding can be arranged with feeding on solid floor or with feeding in troughs with partion at the front and one eatery per sow. Pens for wet feeding can be arranged with double trough for each two pens or with a single trough in each pen.
Group penning can also be arranged with low resting walls to maintain good resting behavior and to accommodate social interactions between the animals.
Electronic Sow Feeding
The gestation unit can be arranged with electronic sow feeding (ESF) for gilts and sows in either dynamic or stable groups. The pens in an ESF unit are dimensioned according to the number of sows and gilts - and are designed with a well-defined resting area and manure area. The resting area can be established with low walls to accommodate good lying behavior, while giving the animals better escape routes during a fight. Likewise, walls can be installed in the manure area, contributing to better behavior and better hygiene in the pen. The unit can be arranged so that the animals can be sorted in the transponder, either by using fixed mounted walls or with flexible gate solutions.
In order to stimulate heat for the sows, there must be the possibility of direct contact with at least one boar (snout by snout). By housing sows individually in a crate, the stall must be designed with an aisle in front of the crates - divided by a boar gates to define the area.
The boar gates can be provided with a fiber/ fiberglass or a panel plate, preventing the sows to see or to make contact with each other which provides optimum heat stimulation when the boar enters. Boar gates are available in different widths, which can be adapted to different widths of aisles. Boar gates (made of panels) can be operated manually from the rear of the crate, minimizing working time when moving the boar to the next group.
The mating and gestation unit is to be designed primarely with SKIOLD Jyden's fiber or fiberglass material or alternatively, SKIOLD Jyden's panel solution. Both fiber and fiberglass material has a minimal volume of only 10 mm, reducing the construction and investment need. Group penning is designed with fiber or fiberglass in a height of 110 cm with three horizontal pipes, making the pen easier to ventilate.
Despite its thickness, the fiber and fiberglass material is very durable, which helps to ensure the long lasting stamina and functionality of the pen. The smooth surface of the material reduces the accumulation of bacteriaenabling easy and efficient cleaning. A cleaner housing environment means better hygiene and a lower frequency of diseases, enabling a optimum conditions for animal growth and development.