In 2016, we co-founded the Open Stall Association together with farmers and scientists in cooperation with the Bedford company from Osnabrück, Germany.
The goal: to make the open housing of pigs better known in Germany, promote exchange among one other, generate new ideas, and network within the farming and meat production community.
The principle of open housing is based on recognizing the natural basic needs of pigs and taking them into account when constructing facilities:
Movement and activity, resting together, cleanliness, and plenty of space.
An open pen is an alternative type of housing for fattening pigs. As the name suggests, the pigsty is completely open on at least one side, or offers a run area to the outside. The animals can freely choose between these different so-called “climate zones” and move back and forth as they please.
The pigs get fresh air, about twice as much space as required by law, natural light, and animal-friendly functional areas for lying down, eating, moving, defecating, and urinating.
With this type of farming, the pigs can also experience natural warm, cold, damp, windy, and sunny weather conditions. Every open stable has a straw area where the pigs can rest, sleep, burrow, and play. Because pigs do not sweat, at least one area must always be left without bedding so the animals can cool down in high temperatures.
This results in vibrant, well-balanced, robust pigs for the farmer. Customers who buy meat that comes from animals kept in open stables can be sure that the animals have been properly raised.