Gestation housing to ensure each batch farrowing place is full

Example – 20 farrowing places a week batch farm


The difference between the farrowing place requirement and the breeding place requirement is determined by the farrowing rate.  This can be used to design a gestation area which minimises sow movement.


Create enough stalls or pens in the gestation area equal to the farrowing places per batch multiplies by the gestation groups.

Create enough stalls or pens in the gestation area that equals the difference between the numbers bred per batch and those farrowing per batch multiplied by 6/batch length (weeks) – called the “extra” breeding group.


The example farm utilises 20 farrowing places per weekly batch

With a 82% farrowing rate the farm requires 25 breeding females

At 77% farrowing rate the farm requires 26 breeding females.

Note gilts are initially housed in the gilt breeding area.

Place the sows which do not eat well in the farrowing area in the “extra” breeding area – they will have a longer wean to service interval.

Place all returns in the “extra” breeding area (different colours represent different batches)


Events – End of the breeding week farrowing batch and “extra” breeding group complete

Events 24 days post-mating – regular returns – 2 sows and 1 gilt have returned.

Example – one sow from the farrowing batch group and one from the extra breeding group – demonstrated in solid colours.  These females are removed and enter the next breeding batch or are culled.



Events 35 days post-mating

By 28 days – one sow “extra” breeding group irregular return

By35 days – one additional sows is confirmed not pregnant from the “extra” breeding group

Event – 6 weeks post-weaning

The empty stall in the farrowing group is filled from the gilt pool or if the “lower farrowing rate” stall was used and the sow is still pregnant from this stall. (This is used in this example). The pregnant gilts remain in the gilt house to provide the (farrowing place)*110% pregnant total batch.


Thus the ”extra” breeding group is empty for use in the next batch.

Majority of the sows have not been required to move.

The farm manager can clearly see the breeding performance of each batch and can rapidly identify shortfalls – which need to be rectified by additional gilts the next round.


Note – if there are more than 110% of farrowing place capacity confirmed pregnant at 6 weeks cull or abort additional unwanted sows.   Review culling policies.