A Swedish deep-bedded, group housing system for pregnant, farrowing, and nursing sows and their litters was demonstrated. There are two versions of the Swedish system. Previous work examining the one system by Honeyman and Kent (1,2) concluded that pig growth (55–60-lb pigs) was excellent, and prewean mortality (18.4-28.3%) was the weakest part of the overall system. The second system was demonstrated in this study to reduce prewean mortality, whereas maintaining or improving nursery phase performance. Prewean mortality was reduced with the conventional farrowing crates (2%) used in conjunction with the bedded group lactation system. The preweaning mortality of the Swedish bedded system can be reduced by keeping the sows and litters in farrowing crates for the first two weeks until movement to the group lactation room. The rate of gain for the first week of group lactation (14-21 d) was 24% less for the grouplactated pigs than for the conventional pigs; however, during the next week the group lactated pigs grew 65% faster than the conventionally weaned pigs. Overall, the growth rate was similar, the group lactated pigs grew 7% faster than the conventionally weaned pigs. Additional research documenting the Swedish housing system is planned.
Iowa State University
Larson, M. E. and Honeyman, Mark S., "Performance of Pigs in a Swedish Bedded Group Lactation and Nursery System" (2001). Swine Research Report, 2000. 34.