Successfully keeping and feeding lactating sows in groups is a more species-appropriate husbandry method, and preferred in organic pig farming. However, group suckling presents challenges to farmers.
Group suckling when properly implemented can reconcile animal welfare, performance and economy. Management measures in husbandry, feeding and animal health are provided.
This leaflet provides an overview of advantages and disadvantages associated with keeping lactating sows in a group. It highlights practical measures for successful group suckling, compares single housing, group housing and combinations, various parameters, requirements and rules-of-thumb for success, are discussed. An occupancy plan for group suckling is provided. The target users of this tool are German and Czech-speaking organic farmers ad advisors.