Under the name Agilo, Big Dutchman offers three new group housing systems for lactating sows:
- Agilo HL
- Agilo FB
- Agilo RS
An important feature of all three systems is the large amount of space they offer for sows and piglets. In the service centre and gestation area, sows are already often kept in groups. But for lactating sows, group housing is much less common. This is mostly due to the fact that the requirements regarding animal management and monitoring of such concepts are higher.
These requirements are compensated for by the advantages, however, because group housing fits much better with the natural behaviour of sows and piglets.
- with Agilo HL and FB, the sows are already kept in the same group before farrowing
- for farrowing, each sow and her piglets remain together in farrowing pens
- good maternal bonding
- reduced risk of losses caused by overlying
- the farrowing box is opened after some days or the sows and piglets are moved into a group pen in the case of Agilo RS
- interaction between the sows and all piglets of the group
- the piglets can act out their need for movement
- any ranking fights occur early on, reducing the piglets’ risk of injury
- the sows’ great freedom of movement boosts the metabolism and therefore increases feed intake, keeping the sows in a good condition.
Agilo HL means a group housing concept where the farrowing frame remains open all the time after it is opened manually, i.e. it can only be closed manually by the staff.
The sow’s trough can be installed close to the ground so the piglets learn from the sow how to feed from it. The drinker is also accessible to sow and piglets.
Through a piglet access door, the young pigs can enter the group movement pen. Here, additional drinkers, feeders and enrichment material or even a separate piglet area can be offered.
Agilo FB means a group housing concept where the sow can open and close the farrowing pen independently. She is thus able to eat and relax without being disturbed. A centralised free-access function is also included, increasing comfort for the staff and reducing the time required for animal inspection.
The flooring and feeding systems in the group movement pen are identical to Agilo HL. The piglets also use piglet access doors to reach the group movement pen.
Agilo RS means a group housing concept where the piglets are born in a separate farrowing house with farrowing pens. After some days, the sows and their piglets are moved into the group pens.
Each pen has a large, well-structured area for the sows and piglets. Additionally, there is a separate piglet area. Generous openings provide the piglets with easy access to the sows. The sows, in contrast, cannot access the piglets’ creep.
The sows have lots of room to move and can easily separate the pen into eating, activity and defecating areas.