A nonbedded confinement system (NBCS) was compared with hoop structures (Hoop) for housing of feeder pigs. The Hoop is an inexpensive alternative to the total confinement system. Open-ended Quonsets shaped like a half cylinder lying on its flat side, the Hoop use bedding to keep the pigs dry and allow this bedding to compost beneath the pigs to keep them warm in winter. Two experiments in Iowa (USA), one in the winter and one in the summer, assessed the welfare of pigs based on the incidence of aberrant behaviour, physiological response to handling, incidence of lameness and the performance of play behaviour. Pigs raised in the NBCS performed more aberrant behaviours and less play behaviour, had greater plasma cortisol in response to handling (but fewer vocalizations), and a greater incidence of injuries than did the pigs raised in the Hoop. Based on these data, pigs in the Hoop were adjudged to have enhanced welfare as compared to pigs raised in the NBCS.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|ISBN/ISSN||1088-8705 (Print), 1532-7604 (Online)|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, 2356 Kildee Hall, Ames, IA 50011-3150, USA.|
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