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Welcome to Free Farrowing Research

Anyone who has an interest in animal welfare research relating to farrowing and lactation systems for sows and piglets will be able to find relevant information here.

Please click on the tabs below to learn more about research relating to the welfare issues surrounding farrowing crates, design criteria needed to develop free farrowing systems, research trials comparing alternative systems to farrowing crates, nest-building research including the latest information on environmental enrichment for farrowing sows and pages dedicated to research on improving piglet survival.

Crated Sow Welfare


Information about research demonstrating the welfare detriments to farrowing sows housed in crates

System Design Criteria

Sloped wall

How do you design suitable free farrowing accommodation to satisfy the animals' biological needs and the stockperson?

Improving Piglet Survival

Piglet suckling

Information on the latest research aimed at improving piglet survival in all farrowing systems.

Nest-Building Research

Sow nesting

More information on research relating to nest-building behaviour and environmental enrichment to satisfy nest-building

Alternative System Trials

Individual pen

Learn more about trials comparing production performance of free farrowing systems compared to conventional crates.

Free Farrowing Workshops


Download the proceedings from the Free Farrowing Workshops of 2018, 2016, 2011 and 2008.

Contact Us

For further information feel free to get in touch.

Visit our Contact Us page