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Our Advanced Open Sow Housing System

Monitoring the open sow housing

At Maple Leaf Foods, we are committed to being a leader in animal care. Better care for our animals is one of our sustainability priorities and reflects our goal to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.

While all pigs that are raised for meat are housed in open pens, industry practice has been to confine sows (mother pigs) in confining gestation crates. The vast majority of the North American industry confines pregnant sows 100 per cent of the time in restrictive gestation stalls. Most conventional open sow housing systems continue to house sows an average of 42 days in stalls during early pregnancy. We challenged ourselves to do better.

In Maple Leaf Foods’ Advanced Open Sow Housing system, pregnant sows live 100 per cent of the time in open pens, where they are free to move, feed and socialize with other animals. The system has taken Maple Leaf Foods close to 10 years to research and design.

To date, we have moved more than 50 per cent of our sows to our Advanced Open Sow Housing system. We are on track to complete this transition by the end of 2021.

Take a look at our infographic, which shows examples of the different sow housing systems in North America.

advanced open sow housing system infographic