{ "type": "mediaitem", "identifier": "mediaitem_637925", "subtype": "wmammodularcontent_gkn_dossiermediaitem", "title": "Group-housing and mixing of sows", "navtitle": "", "url": "/en/eurcaw-pigs/dossier/group-housing-and-mixing-of-sows-dossier.htm", "language": "en_US", "metadata" : { "id": 637925, "identifier": "mediaitem_637925", "contenttype": "wmammodularcontent_gkn_dossier", "contenttype_title": "contenttype_wmammodularcontent_gkn_dossier", "url": "/en/eurcaw-pigs/dossier/group-housing-and-mixing-of-sows-dossier.htm", "title": "Group-housing and mixing of sows", "lead": "Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs states that pregnant sows must be housed in groups from four weeks after service until one week before the expected time of farrowing. Mixing of unfamiliar sows leads to agonistic behaviour to establish social relationships, and is therefore a challenge to sow health and welfare. Further challenges for sow welfare are: living in groups associated with competition for limited resources (especially food), lack of satiety due to restrictive feeding of pregnant sows, and climate and climate and resting comfort, in particular on heat stress.", "leadimage": { "source": "https://api.groenkennisnet.nl/upload_mm/d/f/4/637935_fullimage_dynamic%20group%20%28%C2%A9fli%2C%20a.%20schubbert%29.jpg", "width": 1280, "height": 720, "focuspoint-x": 790, "focuspoint-y": 262, "alternative_text": "Dynamic group - © FLI, A. Schubbert", "photographer": "© FLI, A. Schubbert", "photographer_hyperlink": "", "photo_license": "", "photo_license_hyperlink": "", "source_info": "", "source_info_hyperlink": "" }, "publication_date": "2022-03-09T09:40+02:00", "lastmodified_date": "2022-05-13T14:54+02:00", "expiration_date": "", "tags": [ "Dossier", "gkn_eurcaw", "English" ], "copyright": "", "external_id": "", "item_metadata": { "contentsubtype": "Dossier", "theme": ["gkn_eurcaw"], "keywords": [], "video_header": "", "gkn_organization": { "title": "", "url": "/en/eurcaw-pigs/dossier/eurcaw-pigs-2.htm" }, "contactperson": { "title": "EURCAW-Pigs", "url": "/en/groenkennisnet/person/editors-eurcaw-pigs.htm" }, "experts": [], "link_extra_image": "", "last_update": "" } }, "contents": [ { "area": "aboutthisdossier", "title": "About this dossier", "contentarea_template": "contenttemplate_dossier","background": false,"contentarea_leadtext": "This dossier aims to help Competent Authorities and other stakeholders with issues related to sow group-housing and mixing. The dossier is updated periodically by the EURCAW-Pigs team. The text is meant to support Competent Authorities, and is not legally binding.\r\n\r\n ", "elements": [ { "type": "text", "html": "

It is based on EURCAW-Pigs’ “Review on group-housing and mixing of sows<\/a>” providing knowledge on sow behaviour and their cohabitation in social relationships. Four focus areas for inspections of welfare in sows kept in groups under commercial conditions are highlighted: Mixing of unfamiliar pigs; Competition for resources; Restrictive feeding; and Climatic and resting comfort. <\/p>

Each EURCAW-Pigs dossier addresses the following 5 items: ‘Legislation', ‘Welfare indicators’, ‘Knowledge’, 'Inspiring examples' and 'Training courses'.<\/em><\/p>

<\/em>Source photo: ©EURCAW-Pigs<\/em><\/sub><\/em><\/p>" } , { "identifier": "element_21778499", "type": "modularcontent", "gkzindexmanual": { "title": "", "gkz_content_id": ["1019774"] } } ] }, { "area": "legislation", "title": "Legislation", "contentarea_template": "contenttemplate_dossier","background": true,"contentarea_leadtext": "The legal requirements related to group-housing and mixing of sows can be found in Council Directives 98\/58\/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes, and 2008\/120\/EC on minimum standards for the protection of pigs. In EURCAW-Pigs' Thematic factsheet on group-housing and mixing of sows, the relevant legal requirements are summarized and presented in conjunction with the four focus areas for inspections. ", "elements": [ { "type": "text", "html": "

Directive 2008/120/EC<\/strong>, Article 3(4), states that: “Member states shall ensure that sows and gilts are kept in groups during a period starting from four weeks after the service to one week before the expected time of farrowing. (...).“ Whereas, “(...). By way of derogation from the first subparagraph, sows and gilts raised on holdings with fewer than 10 sows may be kept individually during the period mentioned in that subparagraph, provided that they can turn around easily in their boxes.”<\/p>

Relevant extracts of the specific requirements are given in EURCAW-Pigs’ “Review on group-housing and mixing of sows<\/a>”.<\/p>

Source photo:<\/em><\/sub> ©FLI, A. Schubbert<\/em><\/sub><\/em><\/sub><\/p>" } , { "identifier": "element_21779083", "type": "modularcontent", "gkzindexmanual": { "title": "", "gkz_content_id": [ "1029873", "392255", "227815" ] } } ] }, { "area": "knowledge", "title": "Knowledge", "contentarea_template": "contenttemplate_dossier","background": false,"contentarea_leadtext": "Sow welfare during pregnancy increases when group-housing facilities and management practices consider more the behavioural and physiological needs of sows and do not force them to cope with stressful housing environments. For mixing of sows, e.g., research results suggest to use particular mixing pens in which sows should be kept for the first 2-3 days after mixing. These pens should allow the sows to achieve a flight distance of 10-12 m.", "elements": [ { "type": "text", "html": "

Review on group-housing and mixing of sows<\/a>, suggestions for improved practices are provided for each of the four focus areas to enhance sow welfare when group-housed.

Mixing of unfamiliar animals<\/strong>
Other options to improve the welfare of sows around mixing, besides the use of mixing pens, include, e.g., provision of good quality flooring to prevent slipping and falling, and provision of escape opportunities. Sows should preferably be kept in static groups where they are mixed only once during gestation. Mixing sows at weaning or in the first week after insemination reduces the risk of embryo mortality and therefore smaller litter sizes.

Competition for resources<\/strong>
Reducing competition for resources may be done by, e.g., adequate access to resources in space (no narrow passageways or placement in corners) and time (permanent access to enrichment materials).
Electronic sow feeding, which is a localised resource and does not allow simultaneous feeding, should be positioned away from busy areas and other resources. Lying areas should be separate from the activity and dunging areas, and provide shelter and a view of the surroundings.

Restrictive feeding<\/strong>
The adverse consequences of restrictive feeding (hunger, stereotypies, frustration) may be mitigated by including including more fibre in the diet, allowing a larger volume of food without increasing the energy level and nutrient composition. Fibrous materials can be offered separately in readily accessible racks or on the floor. Providing both fibrous ingredients in the diet and ad libitum access to roughage is the most effective way to increase satiety.

Climatic and resting comfort<\/strong>
Climatic and resting comfort can be improved by clean, dry bedding (e.g. straw) or cushioning, e.g. using rubber mats to improve resting comfort and reduce leg and claw problems. Other measures include proper heat disposition (cooled air, floor cooling, misting and sprinkling systems, etc.), warm and cool surfaces for resting (e.g. a partly-slatted floor), and adjusted management (e.g. feeding and thermal control) during periods of hot weather.

In the next section, welfare indicators are described, helping to identify welfare issues.<\/p>

Source photo: ©EURCAW-Pigs<\/em><\/sub><\/em><\/sub><\/p>" } , { "identifier": "element_21779165", "type": "modularcontent", "gkzindexmanual": { "title": "", "gkz_content_id": [ "1019774", "1020372", "1011727" ] } } ] }, { "area": "toolsforwelfareinspection", "title": "Tools for welfare inspection", "contentarea_template": "contenttemplate_dossier","background": true,"contentarea_leadtext": "Welfare indicators can be used to monitor the welfare of group-housed sows. For four key areas to focus on during inspections, EURCAW-Pigs identified relevant indicators to assess the welfare of pigs. Each indicator is described in an indicator factsheet, by suggesting an inspection and scoring method, and summarizing the underlying welfare concern and legal requirements.”", "elements": [ { "type": "text", "html": "

Assessment of welfare of sows<\/strong>

Indicators to assess the effects of mixing<\/strong>:<\/p>