The Rubirola brothers decided to undertake huge structural changes in the farrowing unit of Mas Vilallonga (www.gerfamrubirola.info)
located at Riudellots de la Selva to improve the welfare of their sows. Conventional crates have been replaced by free-farrowing pens with
temporary crating on slatted floors. Mas Vilallonga innovation has been possible thanks to the high motivation and engagement of several
stakeholders of the pig sector: Rotecna, L’Ekip, Jyden, Agrener and FAWEC (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).
This change represents a big challenge for the catalan producers in terms of management of sows and piglets around farrowing as those
types of systems have never been implemented on commercial building. Several concerns are still unknown and will be explored through
this innovation in Mas Vilallonga:
- How do breeds such as the Duroc breed adapt to more space and free farrowing?
- Where and how do the sows and piglets rest and interact in thermal stress conditions?
And many more questions to discover in the new farrowing building at Mas Vilallonga.