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A WITHIN-FARM COMPARISON OF THREE DIFFERENT HOUSING SYSTEMS FOR FINISHING PIGS

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   H.A.M. Spoolder, S.A. Edwards, A.W. Armsby and S. Corning
Keywords:   Housing, finishing pigs, health, performance, welfare, cost estimation

Comparative data on housing systems may facilitate the producer’s ability to choose, but are often confounded by farm effects. The present study aimed to provide information on production and labour input, as well as indicators of health and welfare in three different finishing pig systems, on one farm. The three systems were a Sloping Floor (S), a Kennelled (K) and a Part-slatted (P) system. Average Daily Gains tended to be different between housing systems (e.g. Summer data: 862, 885 and 844 g day -1 , for S, K and P respectively, F 2,17 =2.94; P =0.080). Food intakes showed corresponding differences, such that Food Conversion Ratio did not differ. The percentage of rejections for health reasons in K was nearly half that of S and P (1.9, 3.9 and 3.6% respectively) but the difference was not significant ( ? 2 =0.679; P >0.05). The number of skin lesions was greater in S compared to P, with K intermediate. However, this may have been confounded by pig cleanliness. The incidence of stomachs with lesions and / or parakeratosis did not differ significantly. Systems S and K required an average of 175 and 283 kg straw pig place -1 year -1 . Significantly more electricity was required to run P compared to the other systems (e.g. Summer: 0.07, 0.06 and 17.1 kWh week -1 for S, K and P respectively; F 5,54 =893.5; P <0.001). However, P required the least labour input per pig place (e.g. Summer: 2.1, 2.4 and 0.9 min pig place -1 week -1 for S, K and P respectively). It was concluded that pig performance was similar for the three systems, and that health and welfare parameters are influenced differently by the various elements that make up housing systems. Overall running costs were highest for the part slatted system during the Summer, but during the Winter period they did not differ. (Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)