Date Full Report Received12/10/2004
Date Abstract Report Received07/26/2006
Funded ByNational Pork Board
Space allowance for dry sows in pens: Body condition, skin lesions, and performance. J. Anim. Sci. 2007 Mar 19; [Epub ahead of print].
These data provide further support that sow performance and productivity between those kept in crates and groups is similar. Overall, differences found between sows kept in crates and those in groups during gestation do not appear to compromise their well-being as assessed by various physiologic, behavior and performance/productivity measures. Despite these differences most often values for all treatment groups were within acceptable ranges. On the other hand, among group-kept sows it does appear that those kept at 15ft2/sow well-being could be compromised. It is obvious that lesion scores are greatly influenced by floor-space allowance and potentially days of gestation. More importantly, sows kept in groups at 15ft2/sow had higher body lesion scores than those kept at other space allowances. If lesion scores are an indicator of well-being, one would not suggest keeping sows in groups at 15ft2 per sow. Immune response between sows kept in crates and groups and among groups at different space allowances existed. However, these differences did not compromise their performance or productivity. There are still questions that remain to be resolved about the impact of gestation environment on sow well-being.