Comparison of management strategies for confinement of sows around farrowing in Sow Welfare And Piglet protection pens
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
Final published version, 1.73 MB, PDF document
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect three management strategies for confinement of sows around farrowing in Sow Welfare And Piglet protection pens (SWAP-pens). The strategies were evaluated through observations of position changes of sows and risk situations for piglets. Sows were randomly allocated to one of three strategies: loose housed (L), confined for maximum 2 days around farrowing (C2), or confined for maximum 4 days around farrowing (C4). The daily number of positional changes per sow was between 13 and 23. There was a highly significant interaction between strategy and day postpartum (P<0.0001). While confined, the treatments C2 and C4 reduced the number of positional changes compared to loose housing. In relation to risk situations, an interaction between strategy and day postpartum was found (P=0.003). For C2 and C4, an increase in the number of risk situations was found the day the sows were released from confinement. A significant positive correlation (P<0.001) was found between the number of positional changes and the number of risk situations. The number of risk situations did not have any significant effect on the number of crushings (P=0.41), however, as with risk situations, an increase in the number of crushings was seen in connection with the opening of the crates in C2 and C4. In the period prior to cross-fostering, a significantly higher level of crushings was seen in L compared to C2 and C4 (P=0.002), while no differences between strategies were found after cross-fostering (P=0.90). The results suggest that confinement in SWAP-pens for two or four days around farrowing reduces the number of positional changes performed by the sows and leads to a decrease in the number of piglet deaths due to crushing.
|Published - 2022
- Confinement strategies, Crushing, Free farrowing, Loose lactating sows, Risk situations, Sow activity
Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk