Nursery Facilities, Auditing Best Management Practices
Weaned pigs require a good environment without drafts, is dry with fresh air, water and feed in order to optimize nursery performance. Out of the 18 nursery facilities audited, management practices were good, though improvement can be made in regard to adopting enrichment. Only 11% of farms audited had enrichment in the nursery. Enrichment improves animal welfare through the social and physical environment being enhanced. Most of the barns with enrichment used chains. Age, size and type of nursery facilities varied with most ranging between 5 and 7 weeks. Most producers use smaller groups, though one third used larger ones with over 50 pigs/pen. In the nursery, the most common euthanasia method is a blitz/bolt gun with slightly over half of the barns using it. Zephyr and blunt force trauma are slightly over a third of euthanasia methods for pigs under 10 kg. Electricity and blunt force trauma are conditional methods as animals must be immediately insensible and do not return to sensibility prior to death according to the Code of Practice. Overall, best management practices are being incorporated into nurseries, though increased use of enrichment should be implemented.
Nursery Facilities, Auditing Best Management Practices (full article)