Do the Access to External Paddock in Collective Pen System Improve Sow and Piglets’ Health and Performance?”
Sharacely Souza Farias, Jonathan Vinicius Santos, Débora Caroline Gonçalves de Oliveira, Vera Letticie de Azevedo Ruiz, Messy Hannear de Andrade Pantoja and Cristiane Gonçalves Titto*
Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade de São Paulo, Pirassununga, Brazil
*Corresponding Author: Cristiane Gonçalves Titto, Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade de São Paulo, Pirassununga, Brazil.
August 12, 2022; Published: August 29, 2022
The use of individual gestational crates is responsible for the economic viability of swine production systems and contributes to improved productivity. However, these methods are associated with poor animal welfare. This can be improved using group housing throughout gestation and lactation. The use of collective pens has been studied, although little is known about the effects of access to external paddocks on health and performance during the reproductive and maternity phases. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the health and performance of lactating sows and suckling pigs housed in collective pens with and without access to external paddocks. Thirteen females were allocated to two housing treatments: collective pens with access, and collective pens without access to an external paddock. Animal health and performance were measured in pregnant and lactating sows, and sucking pigs. An independent t-test (P < 0.05) was used to analyze the data. For data that did not show a normal distribution, non-parametric analysis was used the Mann-Whitney test for comparison between the average pairs of treatments. The results indicated that the sows had increased weight during gestation, lost weight during lactation, and were not affected by the treatments (P > 0.05). The other parameters did not differ between the treatments (P > 0.05). In conclusion, sows housed in collective pens with access to external paddocks had proper and equivalent health indices and performance as their piglets, compared to the ones in collective pens without access to external paddocks, showing that this last system can also be a good option for the reproduction and maternity phases with no productive and health losses.
Keywords: Alternative Systems; Animal Production; Parasites; Weight Gain; Welfare
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