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Effect of the type of farrowing room on the welfare and productive performance of lactating sows and of piglets during tropical winter

, : Effect of the type of farrowing room on the welfare and productive performance of lactating sows and of piglets during tropical winter. Animal Science Journal 85(5): 602-610

The objective of this study was to evaluate the behavior and performance of sows and piglets kept in different types of farrowing rooms: conventional farrowing room with jugglers and cages (CFR), CFR with a heated floor for the piglets alongside the sows (CFR+HF) and semi-outdoor farrowing room without a cage or heating floor but with access to a fenced field (SFR) during the tropical winter. Twenty-seven multiparous sows were allocated in three treatments and nine repetitions during 21 days. The relative humidity was higher at CFR and CFR+HF. The temperature of thigh and chest in contact with the floor and the neck were higher (P<0.01) in conventional systems. Sows maintained in the CFR spent (P<0.01) more time feeding and drinking. The heating floor increased (P<0.01) the nursing behavior but did not affect (P>0.09) the sows' and piglets' performances. SFR decreased the backfat thickness (P=0.03) and lactation efficiency, but did not affect milk production (P>0.12) or piglet performance (P>0.09). It is concluded that during tropical winter, conventional farrowing systems ensure better piglet performance compared to SFR but this last seems to improve the behavior of sows. The heating floor favors nursing and does not affect the welfare of sows.


PMID: 24612206

DOI: 10.1111/asj.12171

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