Sign up now!
Don't show this again
Download the report!Continue to Site >
or wait 7 secs

Thank you for confirming your subscription!

(And remember, if ever you want to change your email preferences or unsubscribe, just click on the links at the bottom of any email.)
Tap to download the app


Collect articles and features into your own report to read later, print or share with others

Create a New Report


Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
follow us

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Favorites Read Later My Reports PHT Special Reports
Pig Health Today is equipped with some amazing (and free) tools for organizing and sharing content, as well as creating your own magazines and special reports. To access them, please register today.
Sponsored by Zoetis

Pig Health Today | Sponsored by Zoetis


Enrichment helps reduce sow stress and piglet mortality

Enriching sow environments during pregnancy can help improve sow welfare and increase piglet survival, scientists say.

Research carried out as part of the PROHEALTH project — Europe’s largest-ever project working to combat pig production diseases — found levels of stress in sows is lower in systems where the animals are able to display more natural behaviors.

And they found that piglet mortality during farrowing and within 12 hours of birth is lower among less-stressed sows.

Previous PROHEALTH research found enriched housing systems — where sows were group-housed on deep straw litter and had 3.5m2 per sow — can help reduce maternal stress.

In this latest study, researchers wanted to see how enriched environments and sow diets could reduce maternal stress during pregnancy, and its subsequent impact on piglet mortality.

During the project, scientists compared three systems used during pregnancy: conventional slatted floors, and enriched systems which offer deep straw litter and additional space.

The third system featured slatted floors enriched with manipulable material and straw pellets. In this system, sows were given pieces of oak attached to a chain to encourage investigative behaviour, while pellets were provided after each meal from 3 to 104 days of gestation.

Ahead of farrowing, all 83 sows were transferred into pens and housed in identical crates on slatted floors.

Scientists then monitored sow behavior and measured cortisol concentrations in saliva to monitor maternal stress.

They discovered that during late pregnancy, cortisol concentrations were greater in conventional systems than enriched ones, while levels in the enriched conventional system were intermediate.

Sows in the enriched system also showed fewer signs of frustration.

During farrowing and within the first 12 hours of birth, piglet mortality during farrowing and within 12 hours of birth was four percentage points lower.

Full article



Posted on September 17, 2018

tags: , ,
  • Estrus suppression boosts gilt welfare, productivity in Canada

    Delaying sexual maturity in gilts is helping pig producers in Canada streamline their production systems while improving carcass quality and animal welfare.

  • 3D cameras help limit tail biting in pigs

    A high-tech system which uses 3D cameras to spot tail movements in pigs could soon help farmers identify the early signs of tail biting, scientists in the UK have discovered.

  • Greenway: ‘Don’t be afraid to engage’ consumers on antibiotics, welfare

    Pork producers should find more ways to engage with consumers and share their stories about responsible antibiotic use and welfare, says Brad Greenway, America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2016.

  • Scientists aim to breed out sow aggression

    Scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) are hoping to help pig producers improve herd welfare thanks to a $1 million project aimed at finding ways to breed out sow aggression.

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.