Effect of group housing on the productive efficiency of sow farms in Flanders

Jolien Hamerlinck, Jef Van Meensel, Marijke Meul

    Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC3: Congres abstract

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    The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of group housing on the productive efficiency of sow farms in Flanders and on the underlying parameters that determine the efficiency levels. The frontier method DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) is used to assess efficiency scores for 48 sow herds – 21 with individual housing and 27 with group housing of sows – using farm accountancy data from 2011. Efficiency levels reflect the transformation of five inputs into one output, being the ‘total weight of piglets produced in one year’. The selection of inputs is based on their significant effect on the economic and environmental performance of sow farms. They comprise (1) number of sows, (2) amount of feed used, (3) replacement rate, (4) health costs (including fertility costs) and (5) fixed costs. Preliminary results show that the technical efficiency is not significantly different between farms with individual housing and farms with group housing of sows. Nevertheless, sow farms with group housing use a significantly (p<0.05) higher amount of feed per sow, have higher health and fixed costs per sow and a higher replacement rate. Cluster analysis using efficiency results of the 27 sow herds with group housing reveals that sow herds applying the same group housing system are situated among the different clusters. This indicates that the type of group housing system has no influence on the technical efficiency. An extended analysis using a larger dataset and considering more inputs (e.g. energy use) is planned to validate these findings.
    TitelBook of abstracts of the 64th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
    ISBN van elektronische versie1382-6077
    StatusGepubliceerd - aug-2013
    Evenement64th Annual Meeting EAAP 2013 - Nantes, Frankrijk
    Duur: 26-aug-201330-aug-2013

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