As a farmer, yogi, mostly healthy eater and writer, I feel it is time to talk about farrowing and gestation crates. There is a lot of false information out there showing pictures of sows (mommy pigs) in cages, laying on their sides, and this is interpreted as cruel treatment.
I did not grow up on a farm with swine, just because my old man didn’t want to raise pigs. However, I was tasked with writing a report on farrowing crates whilst in college, and I took the time to talk to a swine management professor to better understand their uses.
Contrary to making a pig’s life worse, as many have come to believe, these crates are actually saving lives. Yep, the lives of the piglets that is. These are safe, well ventilated crates that allow the piglets to nurse, without the danger of the sow laying on them and potentially suffocating them. The crates also help with lessening aggressive tendencies between pigs, which are more prevalent in open group pens.
These are just the basics, and there is a lot more research out there. I would suggest that if you don’t believe me, take a look at the link in the title. (http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/faen/gest%20crates.html) Also, I caution those who cry “animal abuse” to do their research or even talk to a farmer. There are plenty out there who would be willing to talk to you about their practices.
Seeking information is the best thing to do before making a claim, I have this learned the hard way.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Info. about the UW-Platteville swine program, which has “Contact Us” links. —> http://www.uwplatt.edu/pioneer-farm/pioneer-farm-swine-enterprise