Effects of parity and litter size on cortisol measures in commercially housed sows and their offspring

Breeding sows are regularly exposed to on-farm stressors throughout the duration of their production period. The impact of such stressors may differ for primi- and multiparous sows, as sows could learn to cope with stressors as they gain experience with them. If parity affects stress in sows, it may also impact their prenatal offspring through […]

The welfare implications of large litter size in the domestic pig I: biological factors

Increasing litter size has long been a goal of pig breeders and producers, and may have implications for pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) welfare. This paper reviews the scientific evidence on biological factors affecting sow and piglet welfare in relation to large litter size. It is concluded that, in a number of ways, large litter size […]

Testing post-weaning food motivation in low and normal birth weight pigs in a runway and operant conditioning task

Low birth weight (LBW) pigs face more welfare challenges than their normal birth weight (NBW) siblings. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of cognitive and learning abilities in these pigs may help to improve their welfare. Early competition in life over resources, combined with the higher need for nutrient intake, make it likely that LBW pigs have […]