There are many reasons some animals are housed indoors, including protection from inclement weather, bacteria and diseases, and predators. Due to technological advances in indoor farming facilities farmers and ranchers are easily able to keep the environment clean, safe and temperature-controlled.
During critical developmental stages, pigs and poultry prefer different temperatures and conditions. Since indoor facilities can be regulated through sophisticated temperature control systems, farmers are able to provide this comfort to them during key stages of growth.
One management practice that continually makes headlines is the use of individual stalls for pigs or egg-laying cages for poultry. When looking at peer-reviewed research, science says that these management styles are not only efficient for the farmer, but also provide optimum safety and health for the animal.
Gestation stalls or individual stalls were first introduced in the 1960s as a way to help protect and nurture all sows (female pigs) during pregnancy, a time when they are particularly vulnerable. For example, when sows are in groups, dominant sows tend to act aggressively (e.g. biting), causing serious injuries to less-dominant sows. Submissive sows also may have difficulty getting access to enough food, which can lead to poor weight gain and pregnancy complications.