Implications of Farrowing Crates on Welfare Lactating Sows

Viorel ANDRONIE, Monica PARVU, Ioana ANDRONIE, Alexandru DUMITRU


The research monitored the welfare evolution of lactating sows that were housed in farrowing crates, in commercial farms, based on the skin lesions and lameness. The observations were carried out on lactating sows (Mangalitza, n: 40), during their entire lactation period and the animals were grouped in two lots: A lots, housed in farrowing crates with continuous, concrete flooring on 75% of the surface and a type of grate in the defecation area for the sows and the piglets to use (25%); B lot, housed in improved farrowing crates featuring discontinuous plastic flooring on the entire surface of the box. The skin lesions on the sow and piglets were assessed by inspection on days 7th, 15th, 24th following farrowing. The number of sows displaying skin lesions was higher in A lot (59%) compared to B lot (41%), while skin lesions in piglets was 65% for the B lot compared to 35% for A lot. The monitored indicators varied in both types of farrowing crates. Welfare of lactating sows must be assessed depending on the animals' housing system.

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