Tips for happy pigs – improve animal welfare on your farm

Eveline Willems is Regional Veterinary Manager for Europe and Nordics, Russia, Asia, and Africa. She is part of the Global Veterinary Services team that ensures dissemination of genes with minimal health disruptions and supports customers minimizing health and welfare-related issues holding back the pigs’ genetic potential.

General wellbeing of the pigs supports maximum performance and limits undesired behavior.

Tips for happy pigs:

  1. Pigs are social animals. Keep them, if possible, in groups and provide enough feeder places and drinkers so they can eat and drink together.
  2. Ensure the pigs’ diet matches their nutrient needs and provide enough water of good quality. Regularly check if feed and water provided meet the requirements and specifications as mentioned in the feeding manual. The needs might be higher than you expect when finishers grow fast and have a low feed conversion rate or when sows have a high milk production.
  3. Modern fast-growing pigs need different climate settings than pigs of 15 years ago. Consult a specialist on climate at least twice a year to check if the climate matches the pigs’ needs.
  4. Pigs are smart and curious animals. Provide suitable enrichment material to prevent boredom that can trigger undesired behavior.
  5. Pigs are extremely sensitive for stray voltage. Always check for stray voltage when pigs underperform or show undesired behavior.

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