Hog slat farrowing crates are a type of farrowing crate used to house pregnant sows or gilts during their pregnancy. Hog slat farrowing crates are typically built with a floor space of 4.3 m (14 ft) by 2.4 m (8 ft).
Hogs slat farrowing crates give the sow an area for a nest to make a comfortable laying spot, access to feed and water, and room for turning around, so they don’t scratch themselves on the cage’s bars. Hog slat farrowing crates are typically rectangular;
however, some have an oval shape, and some have been built with a curved shape. Hogs slat farrowing crates have a single door that is lockable from the outside. Hogs slat farrowing crates are typically made of welded wire mesh or sheet metal.
Why are farrowing crates used in the hog industry?
Farrowing crates were designed to help to make the birth process easier for the sow and reduce the number of stillborn piglets.
Farrowing crates are also used in the hog industry to make gathering and transporting pigs easier and to keep a close eye on pregnant females for more successful breeding, leading to higher profit. Evidence also shows that farrowing crates prevent some sows with aggressive tendencies from fighting with each other when confined.
Best 10 benefits of hog slat farrowing crates
- Easy to clean
- Easy to move
- Keep piglets separated from each other
- Not at risk from solid weather elements
- Vertically higher than slatted floor crates
- Sows can turn around quickly without banging their heads on the bars (as they are above the level of the slats)
- Sows can see their piglets as they are brought into the world
- Reduce the risk of sows being mistreated by other pigs
- Sows can give birth in the comfort
- Reduce the risk of bad temperatures during the piglet-rearing period
Are there alternatives to farrowing crates?
There are alternatives to farrowing crates. Sows could be given more space and freedom upon the birth of their piglets. Large pens or rooms could be given to the sow with her piglets, where they can remain together until they are weaned naturally or separated.
There is also an option to house pregnant sows in gestation stalls or pens without bedding and allow the sow to live permanently after delivering her piglets.
farrowing crate panels
Industrial, livestock, and agricultural farrowing crates are available. As well as panels for each side of a farrowing crate or series of panels for multiple sides of a system.
Panel designs vary from one-panel design to another depending on the type of system being used by the producer (shelter, stall, walking floor, or rail). We can supply panels with welded wire mesh or welded sheet metal.
farrowing crate doors
The doors are made of either welded wire mesh or welded sheet metal.
Farrowing crates vs. gestation crates
Farrowing crates and gestation crates have similar purposes but are designed differently. In terms of design, they can be distinguished by how they are constructed. The farrowing box is designed to be more free-standing than the gestation crate, which is intended to be more securely bolted down.
The farrowing crate is more commonly used for housing sows during pregnancy. The gestation crate is designed to house both pregnant sows and their piglets.
Farrowing crates are sometimes also used with gestation crates or places of gestation crates. In this case, they have the same purpose but are used to house both sows and their piglets simultaneously.
farrowing crate flooring
Farrowing crate flooring is available in plastic, wood, and concrete. In all cases, concrete and plastic are the most commonly used options, with wood being a good flooring choice when combined with concrete.
The most common farrowing crates are built with welded wire mesh inside the fencing. Farrowing crate flooring marks corners and edges for piglets to crawl out of and give them somewhere to stand up.
Farrowing crates are often the first choice or first source of housing for sows when they are expected to go into gestation. However, some profits are being made with alternative housing options such as barrier pens, hog houses, and gestation stalls.
These systems can be installed in place of or alongside farrowing crates. We hope our blog entry has helped you to decide whether your pigs need a farrowing box or not. Thank you for reading.