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Economics of Group Housing and Conventional Stall Housing Comparable

by 5m Editor
12 March 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1197. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1197

An animal Science Professor with the University of Manitoba says the costs of the different group housing systems will vary but they do compare favorably with those of conventional systems.

A University of Manitoba study which compared sows in a low cost shelter type group housing system with individual feeding to a conventional system using stalls showed comparable production and reproductive performance.

The group housed sows tended to have better feet and legs and lower culling rates but they consumed more feed.

Dr. Laurie Conner says the economics of group housing will vary from system to system and she suggests management is key to determining the type of housing that should be selected.

"The type of system that we were looking at, which is a lower cost type of system dependent on a straw base which means you don't have to heat the barn and the pigs are allowed to regulate their own temperature and environment to a certain extent, tend to be lower cost.

However, so much depends on the type of group system.

You can find ones that are comparable in terms of cost, both capital as well as operating, you can find ones that are lower than.

It's the concept I think that's probably important and, if people are interested in it, they have to be able to look at them from their own standpoint and see what's going to work for them.

I don't think there is one alternative that is going to be the alternative answer to the stall system.

I think there are probably several and that producers that are looking for alternatives have to be able to assess them from their own management strategies, their own herd sizes, those sorts of things."

Dr. Conner says management is very different, depending on whether group housing or stall housing is used, and management is critical to the success of any of these systems.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor