Article Text

Effects of farrowing crate floors on health and performance of piglets and sows
  1. GI Christison,
  2. NJ Lewis and
  3. GR Bayne

Abstract

Three types of raised perforated floor were compared with floor-level concrete which had perforated flooring at the rear. Piglets on raised perforated floors grew faster (P less than 0.05) to 21 days than pigs on mainly solid floors (205 g/day and 198 g/day, respectively). The mortality in the first 21 days of all pigs born did not differ between raised (18.4 per cent) and mainly solid floors (18.7 per cent) and there were no effects of individual floor types on overall survival or on deaths due to crushing. The incidence of diarrhoea was not significantly less on raised than on solid floors (27 per cent and 34 per cent of litters, respectively) but antibiotic treatment time was shortened (0.9 days and 1.2 days, P less than 0.05). The incidence of splayleg was highest on fibreglass slats. Concrete floors caused most knee abrasions but the incidence of arthritis was unaffected. Approximately twice as many sows on mainly solid floors went off their feed or had a high rectal temperature compared with sows on raised perforated floors. No differences were observed between narrow or A-frame farrowing crates.

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