Walter Jeffries wrote:We keep our boars and sows together right through farrowing in the warm seasons. In the winter we provide the sows with stalls they can go into and defend so other pigs can not enter - this mimics their seeking out private farrowing spaces on the margins of the pastures during the warm seasons. The boars do not hurt the piglets.
Realize we are not penning at all. Our pigs our out on pasture. We have about 400 pigs on about 70 acres of pasture doing managed rotational grazing. They're divided into herds. At any one time there are 50 to 200 pigs on three to ten acre paddocks. For example, the north field which is about eight to ten acres has about sixty sows and a breeder boar right now. There are many piglets in there in addition to the adults. This extensive system where there is plenty of room for everyone works.
In an intensive penned situation I would expect it to be different. If you pen the pigs then I would suggest separating the farrowing sow from other pigs so the piglets have a chance to get up and able. Normally on pasture the sows don't introduce the piglets to the herds until about four to ten days after birth. That natural timing gives you an idea of what they need.
Your mileage may also vary with the boar, and sows. We specifically select for pigs that have good temperaments and do well in these situations. Mothering instincts and temperament are very inheritable. Eat mean people.
Annie Hope wrote:is there any evidence for a separate pen to encourage mating?