Sow Housing Workshops – April 2014

Pork CRC and APL organised two workshops in early April 2014 which were very well attended in Toowoomba on April 2 and Melbourne on April 4.

Ray King - April 2014

As Editor of the Pork CRC/APL manual Mixing sows – how to maximise welfare released at the workshops, Ray King introduced the workshop and outlined the day’s program which would cover group housing strategies for mixing sows post weaning or post insemination

Setting the Scene

How housing systems for dry sows has changed in the Australian Pork Industry in the past years from stall to group housing based systems – Darryl D’Souza, APL

Darryl S'Souza - April 2014

Roger Campbell - April 2014

How housing systems for dry sows has changed in the Australian Pork Industry in the past years from stall to group housing based systems   – Roger Campbell

Roger, as Pork CRC CEO explained that the main reason for moving to group housing was to differentiate Australian pork product from that of its overseas competitors. He said that stress and aggression at mixing was clearly affected by space, but that he wanted to solicit and canvass ideas from all stakeholders so that he could map out future R&D into group of housing of sows. View video online

Paul Hemsworth - April 2014

Key Principles on How to Mix Sows and Manage Sows in Group Housing Systems – Paul Hemsworth

Suggested that producers should be aware that domesticated farmed pigs replicated the natural behaviours of pigs in the wild and these needed to be assessed and accounted for in improving the welfare and productivity of group housed sows. View video online

Behaviour and Sow Welfare Results from Pork CRC Projects


1- Mixing Strategies (space, barriers, duration) –  Paul Hughes

View  Toowoomba video online (presented by Roger Campbell)

Jean-Loup Rault - April 2014

2 – Mixing at Weaning and Mixing 5 days after AI – a comparison  – Jean-Loup Rault

Jean Loup discussed the effects of group housing after weaning, suggesting that it appeared group weaned sows experienced greater stress during the first week post weaning. He recommended using feeding stalls and distinct mating stalls, for example. View video online

Animal Health Implications

Bernie Gleeson - April 2014

 Animal Health Observations with Changes to Group Housing in Australia – Bernie Gleeson

A veterinarian who spends plenty of time on pig farms with a range of production systems and mating and reproduction regimes, refers to ‘unintended consequences’ and that welfare is about more than just putting sows into groups. View video online

Further details and QR codes available