Optimum Space Allowances for Nursery Pigs
Economic viability of farms and the health and welfare of animals are affected by space allowances. There is not much information available on the space allowances of nursery pigs. Maximum feed intake and average daily gain are increased when optimal space allowances are given. The optimum space allowance that allows maximum economic returns is lower than the space allowance to achieve maximum growth. By decreasing space allowance, disease susceptibility, immune suppression and more damaging behaviours are more likely. As nursery pigs behave differently, the space required may be different. A negative impact was seen when lower space allowances were given, reducing average daily gain and altering drinking, feeding and postures of pigs. After weaning, overlying behaviour decreased so this is not a justification for reducing space allowances. Pigs reared in commercial barns were more susceptible to crowding effects when compared to a research barn. Lower space allowances for nursery pigs have a negative impact on performance.
Optimum Space Allowances for Nursery Pigs (full article)