Dr. Tom Parsons inside Penn Vet's Swine Center

Penn Vet Swine Teaching & Research Center


Penn Vet Swine Center

The Swine Teaching and Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine implemented an electronic sow feeding (ESF) system in 2001.

The facility was built for teaching veterinary students and to provide a demonstration herd for alternatives to the gestation stall.

By 2005, the basic model that was prototyped at the swine center was being implemented with our guidance on commercial herds.

Today, our ESF system is feeding over 150,000 sows on 65 farms across the United States and Canada. The farms range in size from 100 to 10,000 sows, utilize a variety of common genetic suppliers, and are either family-owned and operated or company-owned and run with hired labor. The best farms are pushing above 30 pigs weaned per sow per year.

Producers who plan to build new sow facilities and/or stay in the business long enough to recapitalize their existing sow facilities will likely need to confront decisions about sow housing over the next decade.

Several alternatives to the gestation stall exist, but it is important that a producer’s choice matches his or her needs and abilities.

We’ve demonstrated that ESF, if properly managed, is not a barrier to outstanding production.​

About the Penn Vet Swine Center

Electronic Sow Feeding

Electronic Sow Feeding

There are several paths to the implementation of ESF based on the availability of existing facilities and/or access to ground for new construction.

Learn more about Electronic Sow Feeding...

PA Regional Control Program for swine diseasePA Regional Control Program for swine disease

Originally implemented in 2001, our facility was built for teaching veterinary students and to provide a demonstration herd for alternatives to the gestation stall. Since then, we have continued to evolve as a result of our outreach and research.

Learn more about how we work with regional farms...
Meet the Swine Team

Meet the Swine Team

We are dedicated to supporting the swine industry in providing the best research in genetics, nutrition, and management of swine, particularly in reproduction, health, and productivity.

Meet us and read more about what we do...
Swine Center in the news

Swine Center in the News

The Penn Vet Swine Center is often in the news. Read the latest articles on who we are, what we do, and how we work with the swine industry throughout the United States and the world.

Read articles about the Swine Center...

Swine Teaching & Research Center

For more information:
Cheryl O'Sullivan
Email: cherylo@vet.upenn.edu
Ph: 610-925-6203

Media requests:
Hannah Kleckner
Email: hkleck@vet.upenn.edu
Ph: 610-925-6241