Gilt/Dry Sow/Service Accommodation
- Home reared gilts are kept in a pen in the finishing house until they are 28 weeks of age.
- They are then moved in small batches into a loose pen in the dry sow house.
- At 95 kg they are changed onto a dry sow ration. This slows growth and allows the gilts to be hardened off.
- Gilts are served on their second heat at about 135-140 kg.
- The gilts are wet fed in a raised stainless steel trough
- The dry sows are housed in voluntary cubicles in batches of 4.
- Total area/sow is 2.9 sq m (31sq ft) - 1.4sqm (15 sq ft) lying area and 1.5 sq m (16 sq ft) roaming/dunging area.
- The voluntary cubicles are positioned across the house with batches of four cubicles on either side of a 1.5 m (5’) wide central passage.
- Sows are wet fed twice/day.
- One valve feeds 8 sows.
- Feeding is manually controlled to allow for sows to be checked for heat at feeding time.
- A gate at the back of each row of cubicles opens onto a passage to allow sows to be moved in and out of the pens.
- In the service section weaned sows are housed in cubicles opposite the boars.
- To ensure good sow/boar contact a boar is closed in the passage between the row of cubicles and boar pens.
- All sows and gilts are artificially inseminated. Two services are given 24 hours apart.
- The served sows remain in this area for 5 days after they are served before being moved to the dry sow section.