Know How / Pigs / Housing and handling

From slatted to straw-based or balcony systems, we explore the options and provide advice on how to provide the best housing environment possible for pigs. You can also find advice on building new accommodation and take a tour around existing pens featured in What’s in your Livestock shed.

Case studies

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WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What’s in Your Livestock Shed? visits an £11m research unit

A multimillion-pound pig research unit has been designed to test the commercial value of new technology. The £11m unit was the brainchild of Leeds University professor Helen Miller. Its aim…

LIVESTOCK

Dutch pig farm rises from the ashes of a devastating fire

When a Dutch pig farm was devastated by fire in 2013, the owners rebuilt, creating a state-of-the-art, high-health, low-emission unit from the ashes. More than half of Von Farm, Oirschot,…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Inside a boar stud looking at how semen is collected

Attention to detail in the boar stud when it comes to housing, health, feeding, semen collection and processing has allowed farmers to access superior genetics of the highest health status…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How freedom farrowing pens match crates on performance

Traditional farrowing crates are used in the pig industry as they give piglets the best chance of survival. However the supermarket drive to increase pig welfare in indoor systems could…

PIGS

How a Spanish enrichment system reduces tail biting in pigs

A rotating system of chains which moves hanging pig enrichment material from one pen to another is helping keep tail biting at bay on a Spanish pig farm. At Rosa…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

What's in Your Livestock Shed? visits a £350,000 pig unit

A new pig unit at a Welsh college farm is thought to be the first in the UK to integrate every stage of production under one roof. Not only has…

Practical advice

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LIVESTOCK

Causes of pig aggression and how to reduce it

Aggression among grouped pigs can cause stress, growth checks, suppressed immunity, injury and even death. Researchers Simon Turner and Lucy Oldham from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have urged pig farmers…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on converting farm buildings for pig B&B

New-build sheds on greenfield sites have been a popular choice for farmers setting up a bed and breakfast pig enterprise, with short payback periods, new-build bonuses, and a good return…

PIGS

6 ways pig unit works with minimal zinc and antibiotics use

Ensuring good gut health in piglets pre- and post-weaning is the foundation for lifetime health and performance on Harper Adams University’s 230-sow farrow-to-finish unit. The unit, which operates as a…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

The main elements of good grower and finisher pig housing

Housing is a key component for optimum grower and finisher pig performance. As well as meeting the basic requirements for space and wellbeing, good pig housing should provide adequate light…

PIGS

Environmental pig permits: Everything you need to comply

Pig farmers must comply with new requirements for environmental permits from 21 February, with key changes relating to slurry store coverage and ammonia emissions reporting. With an increasing number of…

PIGS

How to get pig housing conditions right for best performance

A primary focus at the grower stage will be nutrition and growth to finish pigs, but it can be possible to overlook the effect of the environment on pigs' performance.…

Insights

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PIGS

Q&A: Pig housing - balcony systems explained

Balcony systems can offer a practical housing solution for pig units by increasing floor space within the footprint of existing sheds. Few of these systems exist in the UK but…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

10 Danish loose farrowing pens compared

Ten European loose-housed farrowing pens are being assessed for pig, piglet and worker welfare in a world-leading product test. This follows industry targets for 10% of Danish sows to be…

LIVESTOCK

Housing issues cause losses of £224 a sow a year

Pig producers could gain an additional £224 a sow a year by improving their environment to ensure pigs meet their genetic potential. On average, pigs only realise 35% of their…

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