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Group suckling in organic sow units

Früh, B.; Hagmüller, W.; Aubel, E.; Simantke, C.; Schwarz, P. and Baumgartner, J. (2008) Group suckling in organic sow units. Paper at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science. 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), in the Frame of the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 16-20, 2008. [Unpublished]

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Summary

Group suckling - a combined system of single and group housing of lactating sows - appears a suitable system for organic pig production. The aim of the study was to describe the status quo of group suckling in organic farms. 31 organic sow units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland were investigated. Stockmen were interviewed, stables were inspected and animals were examined during three visits on each farm enterprise, respectively. The majority of farms kept three sows with piglets in one group suckling unit. 76 % of the group suckling sows (n=192) were in a good nutritional condition, 18 % were considered thin and 8 % of sows were too fat. Relatively few sows showed skin lesions caused by poor housing conditions. Only 18 of 203 sows behaved anxiously or aggressively. On average 9.1 piglets per sow and litter were weaned. Amongst the investigated farms, none was optimally managed. However, no plausible correlations between biological performance, animal health, human-animal relationship on the one hand and farm-specific production conditions (housing, management, feeding, watering) on the other hand were determined. It can therefore be deduced that the “success” or “failure” of the study farms can be attributed to the interaction of different factors rather than to individual production factors.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Beratung, pig production, lactating sows, group housing, animal health, organic farming, BÖL, BOEL, FKZ 03OE379
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 3.2 Husbandry and breeding – non ruminants
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Advisory Service
Related Links:http://www.isofar.org/modena2008/prceedings.html, http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de, http://www.bundesprogramm.de/fkz=03OE379, http://orgprints.org/perl/search/advanced?addtitle%2Ftitle=&keywords=03OE379&projects=BOEL&_order=bypublication&_action_search=Suchen
Deposited By: Früh, Barbara
ID Code:13271
Deposited On:10 Apr 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:37
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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