'Welfare material difficult to manage'
Toys and other environmental enrichment to enhance pig
welfare the best are rather difficult to comply with professional management
Pig and piglet welfare increases most by giving the animals straw or roughage
in troughs - however, this is usually very time and cost
These are some of the major conclusions
of a research report drawn up by the Animal Sciences Group, part of Wageningen
University and Research Centre in the Netherlands.
asked for by the Dutch pig farmers trade union NVV, the Dutch agri- and
horticultural organisation LTO and the Dutch ministry of agriculture,
nature and food quality, focused on ten environmental enrichment tools - and
judged them for e.g. welfare, cost, hygiene, labour time and influence on
results and health.
The team researched a
pen without enrichment, a metal chain, a plastic ball, an additional feeder with
clapper mechanism, a rubber toy, a rope, a hardwood beam, a straw rack, roughage
in trough and a pen with deep straw bedding.
Straw and roughage in
troughs eventually had the best scores - although both are time- and cost
consumign. In addition, straw is difficult when dealing with manure. Roughage
seems to make manure more sticky, making pig pens filthy
â€¢ Animal Sciences Group
â€¢ Wageningen University and Research Centre
â€¢ Dutch pig farmers trade union (NVV;
â€¢ Dutch agri- and
horticultural organisation (LTO; in Dutch)
â€¢ Dutch ministry of agriculture, nature and food
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