The Effect of Environmental Manipulation on Behavior, Salivary Cortisol, and Growth of Piglets Weaned at 14 Days of Age

Environmental enrichment can be a useful tool to reduce belly nosing behaviors in early weaned piglets. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of environmental enrichment on behavior, salivary cortisol, and productivity of piglets weaned at 14 days of age. The study assigned 112 piglets (line Camborough 22 of PIC) into 2 […]

Searching for Differences in the Behavioural Response of Piglet Groups Subjected to Novel Situations

The Backtest (BT), the Open Field (OF) and the Novel Object (NO) tests have been used to identify individual reaction patterns in piglets and to measure parameters that previous studies have shown to be correlated to the coping strategies of animals. The BT allows for the classification of piglets into two different “coping styles”: high-resisting […]

Influence of housing and social changes on growth, behaviour and cortisol in piglets at weaning

The present experiment aimed at evaluating the relative effects of environmental and social changes on behaviour, growth and salivary cortisol of piglets at weaning. On Day 0, 26-day old piglets were weaned and allocated to one of four treatments: neither environmental nor social change (C), environmental change (E), social change (S), and both changes (SE). […]

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 […]

Socialising piglets in lactation positively affects their post-weaning behaviour

Although commercial farrowing sheds keep individual litters separated, previous studies have suggested that housing systems that allow socialisation of piglets pre-weaning can reduce aggression after weaning. This study tested whether pigs socialised with non-litter mates pre-weaning would show less aggression during mixing at weaning (when piglets are taken from their sows and mixed in group […]

Effect of gestation management system on gilt and piglet performance

Individual gestation housing of pregnant sows in stalls from four weeks after mating is banned in the EU. Two experiments were conducted to study the effect of two gestation management and housing systems (STALL: gilts housed in stalls and PEN: gilts loose-housed in pens with increased feed ratio) on gilt and piglet performance during lactation. […]

Facilitating ‘learning from mom how to eat like a pig’ to improve welfare of piglets around weaning

Piglets in commercial husbandry are weaned abruptly and at a rather young age. Many weanling piglets are poorly adapted to ingest solid food, often resulting in a period of underfeeding. The underfeeding generally leads to a poor growth, diarrhoea occurrence and the development of damaging behaviours such as belly nosing, indicating reduced welfare, in the […]

Strategic use of straw increases nest building in loose housed farrowing sows

In spite of domestication, sows are still genetically programmed to perform nesting behaviour close to farrowing. In order to facilitate nest building, a method for a strategic use of large quantities of straw has been developed by Swedish piglet producing farmers. The objectives of the present study were to quantify the effect of strategic use […]

Rearing piglets in multi-litter group lactation systems: Effects on piglet aggression and injuries post-weaning

This experiment investigated the effects of rearing piglets in a multi-litter lactation system on piglet aggression at weaning. The following four pre-weaning treatments were applied to 72 sows and their litters (n = 642 piglets); (1) Farrowing crate (‘FC’ − n = 24 sows), (2) PigSAFE pens, in which sows and piglets are loose housed, […]

Humane euthanasia of neonates I: validation of the effectiveness of the Zephyr EXL non-penetrating captive-bolt euthanasia system on neonate piglets up to 10.9 kg live-weight

To determine if mechanical blunt force trauma using a non-penetrating captive bolt was a viable method of producing an immediate stun/kill in neonate piglets (Sus scrofa domesticus) as an alternative to manual blunt force trauma. Piglets (n = 60) were acquired from a local producer and allocated to one of five weight ranges: birth weight […]