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Farrowing accommodation for organic pigs

Vermeer, Herman M. and Altena, Henk (2004) Farrowing accommodation for organic pigs. Speech at: 38th Congres of the International Society for Applied Ethology, Helsinki, Finland, August 3-6 2004.

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Newborn piglets in organic farrowing pens have a lower survival rate than in conventional farrowing pens. This difference is mainly caused by housing the sow loose compared to crated and by climatic effects of the outdoor temperature. Organic lactating sows should have at least 7.5 m² indoor area with straw and a 2.5 m² outdoor run.
The aim of the project was to increase piglet survival in order to improve animal welfare as well as the profitability of organic farms.
In the experiment we compared survival and behaviour in 3 pen types: type 1 with outdoor run, type 2 with an indoor run and a higher proportion of solid floor and type 3 without run. Data was analysed with Analysis of Variance using parity and liveborn piglets as covariables. Results of 131 litters in total showed 9.6a, 10.8b and 9.4a (p=0.05) weaned piglets per litter for pen type 1, 2 and 3. Fouling scores indicating dunging behaviour in the indoor lying area showed 13a, 21b and 19b (p=0.04) for pen types 1, 2 and 3. We found a tendency that litters with high survival rates used the separate piglet nest sooner for lying than the litters with low survival rates. Climatic conditions seemed to be crucial for the vitality and survival of the newborn piglets.
The better climatic conditions combined with the higher proportion of solid floor resulted in a higher survival rate of the piglets. These results are currently used in a second experiment focussing on extra heating around farrowing and solid floor proportion in a new farrowing accommodation.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Speech
Keywords:pigs; farrowing; piglet mortality; pen design
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Netherlands > Wageningen University and Research Centre WUR > Animal Sciences Group ASG
Related Links:http://www.applied-ethology.org/isaemeetings_files/2004%20ISAE%20in%20Helsinki,%20Finland.pdf
Deposited By: Vermeer, Herman M.
ID Code:13725
Deposited On:21 Jul 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:37
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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