Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

E. Quendler, C. Podiwinsky, R. Martetschläger, V. Helfensdörfer, J. Baumgartner, C. Winckler und J. Boxberger:

Cost-benefit analysis of different farrowing systems


At the market there are several different farrowing systems available that differ in the degree of confinement for the sow (pens and crate systems), space allowance and technical equipment. Since animal welfare is of increasing interest, it was the aim of this study to evaluate different farrowing systems in term of work time requirements and economic parameters. The systems investigated consisted of three pen types with loose sow (FS1–FS3) and five farrowing crates (KS1–KS5), differing in pen shape, space allowance, door opening and closing devices; as well as wall, feeder, crate and creep area design. Both within the free systems as well as compared to the crate systems, there were significant differences in performance, work time requirements and economic parameters. Hence, total revenues, gross margins, returns and capital values were considerably lower for the two farrowing pens (FS1-structured pen with strawbedding and FS2-fully slatted pen without straw, rectangular) than for pen FS3 (as FS2, trapezoid) and the farrowing crate systems.

Key words: Farrowing systems, sows, productivity, labour time requirements, economic efficiency.