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Welfare

Best Practices: How Do You Measure Up?

An audit was completed on Canadian pork barns in 2017, with areas for improvement including farrowing systems, nursery facilities, finishing facilities and managing water intake. The optimal farrowing room environment is often achieved, with many of the barns using heat lamps, pads or both, as...

Some Audits are a Good Thing…Really!

An audit was completed in 2017 on best management practices in Canadian swine barns. Results show areas for possible improvements in biosecurity, personal protection and training, washing procedures and gestation housing systems. Many of the participating farms had biosecurity protocols like showering in and out...

Research Targets Sow Mortality

Sow loss can cause psychological harm to workers and also results in loss of profits. Sow longevity is decreasing even with the new genetic advancements and a switch to group housing. A survey is being done on reasons for culling and mortality for sows in...

Handled with Care: Research Targets Pig Comfort

Economics often limit the amount of comfort pigs have access to. Space allowance is a big issue for pigs since performance and behaviour are largely affected when there is not enough. Often nursery pigs are given less room due to smaller body size, but this...

Conestoga a Big Fan of Pig Cooling System

Since pigs do not have sweat glands, it can be hard for them to cool themselves down. This can be very dangerous to the pigs or even fatal, especially in transport. To help with this problem, ventilation systems and water cooling systems were investigated in...

When Wounds Talk, Researchers Listen

Carcass lesions can help tell how the pig was injured. Lesions are both an economic and welfare issue, as they impact the carcass quality and cause pain for the animal. Usually they occur when mixing unfamiliar pigs, often before slaughter. They are assessed using a...

Researchers Have a Ball Helping Pigs Play

Enrichment to help enhance animal welfare is a requirement in the updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs. An accelerometer can measure the acceleration of enrichment objects, and therefore how much they are used. Some objects, like a ball, were used...

Slat Width Study Fills Knowledge Gaps

Improper flooring can lead to a number of leg and foot problems for sows. The second most common reason for culling sows is lameness and it is an even more important issue in group housing since moving around is crucial to access resources like food...

Multiple Choices: Group Housing a Test for Researchers

Transitioning to group sow housing involves major renovations and changes to daily management. One of the best resources on the transition is the producers who have already switched over. An important consideration to make is which feeding system to use. Many of the early adopters...

Pigs in Space

Space allowance can impact many areas of pork production including social interaction, behaviour, stress and productivity. Often weaner pigs are given less space allowance due to their size but this may not be adequate. Crowding occurs near the end of the nursery phase as the...