How we manage our pigs individually and in groups will depend on the need of the animal and the production system.
In outdoor production systems pigs are managed in groups but given access to outdoor arks or hutches (small shelters) for protection. In indoor production systems pigs may be managed individually or in groups. Four out of every five Australian sows is housed in groups or ‘loose housing’, with the remainder housed in sow stalls. The industry continues to progressively phase out the use of sow stalls. There is now a 91 per cent probability that sows will not be housed in sow stalls at any point in time between five days after mating and one week before farrowing. A sow who is about to farrow is placed in a piglet protection pen for birth and lactation.
Pigs who are ill and requiring individual treatment and care are housed in hospital pens. Sows being mated are placed in a mating stall. Boars are large animals and require individual large pens to accommodate their sometimes aggressive nature.