A gestation stall is a pen for a female breeding pig that is typically 2 feet by 6.5 feet - barely larger than the pregnant pig's body. Used in the factory farming of pigs, a gestation stall is so small, the pregnant pig cannot even turn around. Confining the pigs to a very small space allows factory farms to maximize the number of pigs they can keep and maximize profits.
Some studies show that gestation stalls prevent problems that can arise when pigs are kept in group housing, such as aggressive behavior and competition for food. However, one such study compared the gestation stalls with a 55 square foot group housing pen with three pigs in it. Three pigs in gestation stalls would have had 39 square feet of space, so although the pigs in the "group housing" were able to turn around, they did not have much more space than the pigs in the gestation stalls.
As of February, 2011, Florida, Arizona, Oregon, California and Ohio have banned gestation stalls, although some of those bans have not yet taken effect. Gestation stalls are also being phased out in the European Union and in New Zealand.
While gestation stalls are an example of a cruel factory farming practice, animal rights activists advocate veganism and oppose all exploitation and use of animals, regardless of how well the animals are treated.