The influence of space and temperature on sow farrowing location and piglet survival in an indoor free-farrowing system
Designing suitable farrowing and lactation environments that maximise both sow and piglet welfare, whilst maintaining economically efficient and sustainable enterprises, is a continuing challenge. When developing alternative systems, an important design consideration is how to encourage sows to farrow in a location suitable and safe for piglets. A prototype, free-farrowing pen (PigSAFE – Piglet and Sow Alternative Farrowing Environment) was developed, which considered these design challenges and included different areas for different functions (ie. nesting area separate to dunging area). We hypothesised that more space would result in better maternal behaviour and therefore improved piglet survival and that a warmer nest might be more attractive to farrowing sows and improve piglet survival (Pedersen et al., 2007). In this experiment, two sizes of pen and two under-floor temperatures (individually controlled in the solid nest areas) were tested with the aim to determine the influence of space and floor heating on farrowing location and piglet survival.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
APSA 13th Biennial Conference: Manipulating Pig Production, Adelaide, Australia
Australasian Pig Science Association