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  • #16758 Reply

    Has anyone used a farrowing crate for their large black sows?

    #18384 Reply
    Member: Ohio RegistrarRegistrar

    I have not and know many of our members do not, but I have heard of some who have tried and decided that it wasn’t for them.

    #18385 Reply
    Member: WI AvatarHarvey Work

    From my experience, Large Blacks would become lethargic standing in a farrowing crate. I do know a few that do use crates. They seem to need room to move, even a large pen seems confining to them. If you see how they behave in a pasture farrowing scenario it comes to light how they will do a much better job if able to have space. As I have to contend with winter weather, I do farrow in large pens, in a remodeled barn, set up to emulate an A house with an exercise and feed area. I find they also need some fiber in their diet while nursing pigs, more so than conventional breeds.

    If you email me at I can send you info on a pen scenario that offers room to move and yet being able to somewhat “confine” them the day they farrow to alleviate laying on baby pigs. It is an Australian design that I know some people have found to be a happy compromise.

    Lastly, I have raised pigs in most every environment possible, including a confinement operation, and for me I am striving to balance economics and labor efficiencies with a goal of allowing a pig to exhibit their innate traits, such as straw for nesting at farrowing, freedom to move, and need to relieve their boredom.

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