Effects of Temperament and Floor Space Allowance on Sows at Grouping
Producers are changing their facilities to group housing for sows. Spacious accommodation has been shown to reduce aggression and increase general health but the point of crowding is not known. Observations were made in order to configure space requirements and social groups. More space was needed when the sows were lying laterally. This was needed most between midnight and 8am. The minimum requirement physically is 1.51m2/sow, though this does not account for movement. Most fighting and injuries occur within the first 24 hours of mixing. Different space allowances did not alter the number of fights or the injury score. A reduced stress response was seen in passive/shy sows so they may be better for group housing.