Review on group housing and mixing of sows

Antje Schubbert, H.A.M. Spoolder, L.J. Pedersen

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection
of pigs states that pregnant sows must be housed in groups from four weeks after service until one week
before the expected time of farrowing. This review first describes the species-specific social, feeding and
exploratory behaviour of sows during pregnancy and their behavioural and physical needs for climate and
resting comfort. The change from confinement into group-housing systems for pregnant sows is briefly
addressed. By addressing the specific needs, four focus areas relevant for sow welfare, and accordingly
relevant for inspections, were identified and highlighted: (1) mixing of unfamiliar pigs, (2) competition for
limited resources, (3) restrictive feeding and (4) climate and resting comfort.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Edition1.0
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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