Organic farrowing conditions as an example for future conventional pig husbandry?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Sows kept under organic conditions on average farrow larger litters then sows kept under conventional conditions. Larger litters mean lower birth weights and higher mortality risks. This makes an organic system an ideal setting to study neonatal mortality with implications for future conventional systems. In the last decade experiments focussed on housing, climate, nutrition and management to improve neonatal survival. The summarized results will be presented. In short they resulted in the following conclusions: 1) higher creep use gives lower mortality, 2) a separate dunging area results in a cleaner solid floor, 3) a short period of additional heating around farrowing improves vitality, 4) no effect of extra straw, 5) flaps in creep opening reduce mortality, 6) sow water intake does not affect mortality. In present experiments more attention is paid to genetics affecting piglet vitality, rearing conditions of the sow effecting maternal behaviour and management measures to reduce piglet mortality. With the ban on individual housing of pregnant sows on Jan 2013 the pressure towards loose housing of conventional farrowing sows increases. Conventional pens now have 5 m2 where organic farrowing pens have 7.5 m2. Space is necessary to separate lying and dunging behaviour and to promote maternal behaviour, but has of course also financial implications. Developments in organic pig husbandry can so have an impact on future developments in conventional pig husbandry. Cooperation and exchange between organic and conventional research projects results in a cross fertilization for the pig husbandry as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 62nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Stavanger, Norway, 29 August - 2 September 2011
Pages208-208
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event62nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science -
Duration: 29 Aug 20112 Sep 2011

Conference

Conference62nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
Period29/08/112/09/11

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