Herd Profile

Bank of four ESF feeders in the sow group gestation pen, set at a stocking rate of 45 sows per feeder.
Bank of four ESF feeders in the sow group gestation pen, set at a stocking rate of 45 sows per feeder.


Matador Colony is near Swift Current Saskatchewan. The farrow-to-finish pig operation has 600 sows and was opened in early 2015 with 11 Nedap ESF units being used for different age females in a Dynamic group setting. The ESF units allow mixing of 2 different feed rations plus the addition of growth curves. They are using the boar pen station for heat detection along with natural breeding. There are no stalls in the breeding areas for boars or sows.


  • 600 sow farrow-to-finish
  • Dynamic group with 11 ESF units
See Conversion Process


Matador Colony

The Matador Colony barn was built in 2013, near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The barn is designed to house 600 sows, farrow to finish, with three large dynamic gestation pens. Mature sows are penned separately from gilts, and fed with Nedap ESF feeders. The pens are laid out following Nedap specifications, with pen partitions designed to reduce recycling (i.e. multiple feeder visits). The feeders are laid out side-by-side, and after sows have fed they must exit the feeder and pass through a common sorting alley. To re-enter the feeder, sows must walk around the entire pen.  The flooring is partially slatted, with a 20mm (3/4”) gap width. Solid flooring in the bedroom areas is preferred by sows, and results in fewer sows lying in the alleyways.

The gestation barn includes three dynamic group pens. One is designed for gilts and uses 3 ESF feeders, with a maximum capacity of 120 gilts at approximately 20 sq ft/gilt. The two sow pens include 4 ESF feeders each. Pen 1 is for lower parity sows, with a maximum capacity of 180 sows at 22 sq ft/sow, and Pen 2 houses older parity sows, with a capacity of 180 sows at 24 sq ft/sow.

A boar pen with RFID heat detection is used to electronically identify any sows that come into heat.

The Matador Colony barn is one of very few new sow barns built in western Canada in recent years. The barn was populated with Fast Genetics sows in February 2015. Further information on the Matador Colony barn and sow production will be available in 2016.