Pigs are social beings: They like to be around other pigs and their caretakers. We provide group housing for pregnant sows during their 16-week gestation period on our company-owned farms in the United States, Poland and Romania and at our joint ventures in Mexico. We use individual stalls for breeding to help ensure a sow’s successful conception, a practice supported by multiple scientific studies. We also use individual stalls during farrowing and weaning to protect a sow’s growing litter.
We encourage our contract sow growers in the United States to transition to group housing systems and collaborate with them to provide guidance and expertise when requested. Despite the increased cost of supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately one-third of our contract farmers completed the transition to group housing systems by 2020 year-end.