Journal article

Enrichment with Lucerne Hay Improves Sow Maternal Behaviour and Improves Piglet Survival

Lauren E Edwards, Kate J Plush, Cameron R Ralph, Rebecca S Morrison, Rutu Y Acharya, Rebecca E Doyle

ANIMALS | MDPI | Published : 2019

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of providing lucerne hay on the behaviour and the performance of sows housed in farrowing crates during farrowing and lactation. Seventy-two mixed parity sows received either 1 kg lucerne hay daily from entry into the farrowing crate (-2 d from expected farrowing date) until weaning at 17 d (lucerne group, n = 36), or received no additional enrichment (control group, n = 36). In the 18 h prior to farrowing, the sows in the lucerne treatment spent more time performing nest-building behaviour (14.8% lucerne vs 11.1% control, p = 0.0009) and less time sham-chewing (1.0% lucerne vs 1.9% control, p = 0.01) than control sows, and gave birth to fewer stillborn pi..

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University of Melbourne Researchers