Space allowance and pen size affect welfare indicators and performance of growing pigs under Comfort Class conditions

H.M. Vermeer, K.H. de Greef, H.W.J. Houwers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Comfort Class offers each 110 kg growing–finishing pig housed at 2.4 m² with bedding in groups of 12 premium welfare to meet their behavioural needs. Conventionally housed, growing–finishing pigs in the Netherlands are allowed 0.8 m², based on 0.035×BW0.667. The extra space offered with Comfort Class is a major financial barrier to introduce this system in practice. In order to establish whether or not welfare and performance could be maintained whilst reducing space allowance, a 3×2 factorial trial was designed to compare pigs housed at 2.4 m², 1.6 m² or 1.2 m² per pig in pens of 29 and 58 m². Video recordings, skin and tail lesions, lameness scores and performance were collected during three replicates involving 216 pigs each. Results indicate that pigs housed at 2.4, 1.6 or 1.2 m² per animal would be lying in the kennels for 62%, 54% and 48% of the time (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
JournalLivestock Science
Volume159
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • finishing pigs
  • behavior

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