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Prof. McCool replaces Prof. Schulze Lammers

Since 1st February 2019, the Chair of 'Agricultural Engineering and Robotics' has been occupied by Prof. Chris McCool (from Brisbane/Australia). Prof. McCool replaces Prof. Schulze Lammers, who will be retired on 15 March 2019.

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You are here: Home Research Livestock Technology Folder_Projects 2015-07-01 Sow welfare feeding – animal individual ad-libitum liquid feeding in group-housed gestating sows (Opti-Sau)

2015-07-01 Sow welfare feeding – animal individual ad-libitum liquid feeding in group-housed gestating sows (Opti-Sau)

Livestock system, liquid feeding, ad libitum, group-housed sows, crude fibre, basic feed



Project description :


In Germany the group housing of pregnant sows ‘four weeks after insemination until one week before farrowing’ is required by law since 1st January of 2013. In group housing with restricted feeding, the animals are fed with a feeding place ratio of 1:1 either synchronously or individually in electronic feeding stations. The advantage of the 1:1 feeding place ratio is the species-specific concurrent feed intake, but the disadvantage is the inability of the individual animal-related energy supply. Although electronic feeding stations offer this benefit, they do not correspond to the species-specific feed intake behaviour and lead to steady ranking fights in front of the feeders. An alternative is the ad-libitum feeding of pregnant sows by fodder high in fibre and low in energy. Expected advantages of the system are the lower aggressiveness because of the well-fed animals, the improved dung consistency and reduced occurrence of MMA. A disadvantage is often a high variation in body condition of sows in one group.

The goal of the present research project is to develop a new livestock system for gestating group-housed sows, which combines the advantages of the mentioned systems.

The generally higher feed consumption of ad-libitum feeding and the accruing fodder costs should be reduced by the development of a new feeding and management system. In terms of a sustainable regional cultivation of forage crops it should be sustained by the use of locally produced feed that is similar ensiled like the basic feed components in cattle farming.

The project is supported by the German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE).


Project team :



Project partner :



Hölscher + Leuschner Agrartechnik GmbH, Dr. R. Hölscher


·         Institut für Tierernährung, Prof. J. Kamphues

Uni Halle

·    Institut für Agrar- und Ernährungs­wissenschaften, Prof. E. von Borell


Project funding :




 Die Förderung erfolgt aus Mitteln des Zweckvermögens des Bundes bei der Landwirtschaftlichen Rentenbank

             BLE gefördert


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