The most vulnerable time for the piglets is the first few days of life. Conventional crates are designed to protect the piglets during this time, however as the structure is permanent the sow is restrained for the remainder of lactation.
There are many different temporary crating systems, most have been designed to restrain the sow in the crate around the critical period for piglet survival and then let her out of the crate to be loose during lactation.
The Sow Welfare and Piglet Protection pen is a Danish design with a footprint of 6.5 square meters.
The ProDromi® system has been developed by farmers and researchers at Wageningen University and the Pig Innovation Centre Sterksel. The overall footprint is 7.5 square meters.
Vissing Agro’s temporary crate systems has an overall footprint of 5.76 square meters.
360° Freedom Farrower™
The Midland 360 Farrower is built on the same footprint as a conventional crate of 4.3 square meters on fully slatted floors. Crate bars open back during lactation.
Previously known as the Combi-Crate Hexel – this is a temporary crating system designed by pig building manufacturers in collaboration with farmers in The Netherlands.
The BeFree is a farrowing pen developed by Schauer with the possibility to temporarily confine the sow. It has a spatial footprint of 6 sq metres which includes 0.72 sq metres of piglet nest. When the crate is open 4 sq metres is available to the sow.