Switzerland have had a ban on farrowing crates since 1997 and therefore have conducted a great deal of research on different systems.
The Agroscope Research Station designed the “FAT” pens which have had different iterations over the years. Many Swiss systems have similar key design features.
The sow is given:
- Freedom of movement at all times
- Opportunity to nest-build
- Separate dunging and nesting areas
The piglets are given:
- Front creep environment
- Reduced spread of infection between pens
The staff are assured:
- Access to piglets via creep from outside pen
- Easy provision of nest building materials
- Easy opportunity to feed sows at front of pen
How to Build a Swiss Free Farrowing Pen
You can view the FAT pen in operation and see Live webcam footage of sows and litters at Suisseporcs.
There are three companies that sell pens for pig production in Switzerland, including different kinds of free farrowing pen.