Irish Journal of Agricultural & Food Research >
IJAFR, Volume 53, number 2, 2014 >
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|Title: ||Effect of housing on rubber slat mats during pregnancy on the behaviour and welfare of sows in farrowing crates|
|Authors: ||Calderon Diaz, J.A.|
|Keywords: ||Farrowing crate|
|Issue Date: ||2014|
|Publisher: ||Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland|
|Citation: ||J.A. Calderón Díaz and L.A. Boyle. Effect of housing on rubber slat mats during pregnancy on the behaviour and welfare of sows in farrowing crates. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research, 2014, 53: 189–197|
|Series/Report no.: ||Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research;vol 53|
|Abstract: ||The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of flooring type during gestation,
and limb lesion scores on welfare and behaviour of sows in farrowing crates.
Sixty sows group-housed during gestation in pens with solid concrete floored feeding
stalls and a concrete, fully slatted group area either uncovered (CON; n = 30) or covered
with 10 mm thick rubber slat mats (RUB; n = 30) were transferred to the farrowing
crate at 110d of gestation (-5d). Lameness was scored on -5d and at weaning (28 d postfarrowing).
Limb lesions were scored on -5d, 24 h later (-4d), 3 to 5 days post farrowing
and at weaning (i.e., day 28 post farrowing). Sows were video recorded for 24 h on -5d,
after the last piglet was born (FARROW) and prior to weaning. Videos were sampled
every 10 min and an index of the proportion of time spent in different postures (standing
[S], ventral [VL] and lateral lying [LL] and total lying) and number of postural
changes was calculated. Median scores were calculated for limb lesions and classified
as ≤ median or > median. Postural data were tested for normality and analysed using
mixed model equations methodology. Flooring during gestation did not affect any of
the variables recorded in this study. However, RUB sows tended to make more postural
changes than CON sows (P = 0.10). Sows with swelling scores > median spent more time
LL (68.9 vs. 63.1 ± 2.19%; P < 0.05) and less time VL (19.9 vs. 25.8 ± 2.27%; P < 0.05)
than sows with swelling scores ≤ median. Time spent S and VL decreased and LL
increased at FARROW compared to -5d and prior to weaning (P < 0.01). We found no
effect of flooring type during gestation on welfare and behaviour in the farrowing crate.
Factors such as limb lesions and adaptation to confinement (i.e., time spent inside the farrowing crate) appeared to have a greater influence on sow welfare and behaviour in
farrowing crates than the flooring on which they were housed during gestation.|
This work was administered by Teagasc’s Walsh
Fellowship Scheme via funding from Enterprise
Ireland and EasyFix™ Rubber Products.
|Appears in Collections:||Pig Development|
IJAFR, Volume 53, number 2, 2014
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