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Multi-centre approach to improve outdoor runs for organic pigs:Preliminary results of on-farm experiments

Wimmler, Cäcillia; Holinger, Mirjam; Knoll, Maximilian; Andersen, Heidi Mai-Lis; Thomsen, Rikke; Bochicchio, Davide; Kongsted, A.G. and Leeb, Christine (2021) Multi-centre approach to improve outdoor runs for organic pigs:Preliminary results of on-farm experiments. In: Schmid, Otto; Johnson, Marion; Vaarst, Mette and Früh, Barbara (Eds.) Organic Animal Husbandry systems – Ways to improvement.

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Document available online at: https://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/files/2021-09/Proceedings_Final-IAHA-Pre-Conference-OWC2021_Animal-Husbandry_proceedings-collected.docx.pdf


Summary

Abstract
Within the CORE Organic Cofund project POWER, European stakeholders and scientists identified elements to improve animal welfare and reduce environmental impact in concrete outdoor runs for organic growing-finishing pigs. The selected innovations included 1) roughage, 2) showers, and 3) rooting areas. We evaluated the effectiveness of these innovations on nine commercial organic pig farms in three European countries (Austria, Switzerland and Denmark).
This multi-centre study requires a common approach to ensure the best possible standardisation regarding experimental set-up and data collection whilst acknowledging differences between countries and farms. Assessment protocols including animal-based (clinical and behavioural) indicators were jointly developed. To ensure comparable results, training and inter-observer reliability testing took place in on-farm sessions and via online training and showed acceptable to good agreement.
Preliminary descriptive results of the three experiments are presented for clinical indicators, pig faecal soiling and use of the outdoor run. Most clinical indicators showed a low prevalence across all farms and experiments. For pig soiling, a potential effect was only observed in pigs with access to showers; they were slightly cleaner. The use of outdoor runs was generally high and seemed to be influenced by the improvement measures.
We conclude that multi-centre on-farm studies are suitable for ensuring external validity as an important step in implementing improvement measures. However, the high effort for training and potential trade-offs between the highest possible standardisation and


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:organic husbandry, swine, Abacus, FiBL55314, POWER
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
organic husbandry
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_36807
English
swine
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7555
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > POWER
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal welfare & housing > Animal husbandry
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal welfare & housing > Animal welfare
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Pigs
Deposited By: Nielsen, Department Anne Sofie
ID Code:42765
Deposited On:06 Dec 2021 13:26
Last Modified:19 Jan 2022 12:45
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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