Articles | Volume 45, issue 1
10 Oct 2002
 | 10 Oct 2002

A better welfare for nursing sows without increased piglet loss applying peri-parturition short term crating

B. Stabenow and G. Manteuffel

Abstract. A housing for nursing sows is presented that allows the animals to move within the pen for most of the time until weaning of the piglets and thus increases welfare. Ten days before farrowing was expected the sows (n = 80) were stalled to Scan farrowing pens without restriction. They were allowed to move around and to get into contact with their neighbour animals. Three to five days before parturition the sows were confined to farrowing crates until 4–6 days after parturition. At that time the piglets (n = 4075 from 361 litters) reliably visited the heated and protected hiding area. Compared to conventional housing systems for nursing sows we observed no increased piglet loss by crushing. Hence, temporal confinement of the sows around farrowing offers a suitable method to increase well-being without impairing the economic achievement.