Farrowing crates are more useful than regular crates because they can be used when the sow is birthing and when she is feeding her piglets. Regular gestation crates isolate the sow during pregnancy but provide no room or protection for piglets during the nursing period.
Regular gestation crates keep the sow standing, whereas farrowing crates are designed to let the sow lie down and have a separate area for the piglets. This protects young pigs from being stepped on by the sow. The floor of a farrowing crate allows air flow and is designed to keep the sow dry, and an open side gives the farmer access to assist in the birthing process.