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Summary College 8 - Pigs Ii

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A snapshot of the summary - College 8 - Pigs II

  • 1 Pregnant sows

  • How are pregnant sows housed and what does this do for their health?
    • They are housed individually in stalls in which they have poor controllability and a lack of movement
    • This causes impaired mental and physical health:
      - Weak bones (65% of what they should be) and muscles
      - Leg problems
      - Changes in HPA-axis 
      - Stereotypies
      - Apathy (lack of feeling/emotions)
  • 2 Stereotypies

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  • To what are the stereotypies of sows related?
    • Individual stall housing
    • Low feeding level (40-60% of what they would eat when fed ad libitum), energy dense diets
    • Frustration of foraging behavior
  • What part of the brain is involved in stereotypic behavior?
    The basal ganglia. Control and planning of movements.
  • 3 Housing systems

  • During what time period are sows group housed?
    From 4 weeks after breeding until 1 week before farrowing.
  • What are the positive points of the Electronic Sow Feeder and the Individual Feeding Stable?
    • Individual feed per sow
    • They can choose when to eat
    • Lots of space
    • They can al eat at the same time (no competition for feeding places)
    • Smaller groups -> they know each other 
  • 4 Welfare issues in group-housed sows

  • What are the main welfare issues in group-housed sows?
    • Leg problems
    • Aggression (new group members and around feeding)
    • Low feeding level + concentrate diets cause:
      - Hunger
      - Food competition
      - Aggression
      - Stereotypies
  • How to reduce these problems?
    • Provision of space and complexity (hiding places)
    • Optimize rearing conditions (social skills, exercise)
    • Floor
    • Enrichment materials
    • Fibrous diets (increasing eating time and satiety)
  • 5 Nestbuilding sows around parturition

  • What happens when pigs have no space and/or nestbuilding material?
    • Sham-nestbuilding movements and high activity
    • Sows are willing to pay for materials
    • Higher ACTH, lower oxytocin levels
    • Increased length of parturition
  • What happens when sows can show less nestbuilding behavior?
    • More savaging and crushing of piglets
    • Reduced responsiveness to piglets
    • Shorter duration of suckling period
  • 6 Cold stress piglets

  • Why does cold stress in piglets happen and what is their lower critical temperature?
    • Their lower critical temperature is 34º C.
    • It is caused by a lack of insulation and body reserves, which is caused by:
      - No fur, little hair
      - Little subcutaneous fat
      - No brown fat 
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