Research Article

The welfare of gilts in different housing systems

Anna Augustyńska–Prejsnar, Małgorzata Ormian

Abstract. The aim of this study was to assess the welfare of gilts managed in different housing systems. The material consisted of a total of 160 gilts, weighing between 40 to 100 kg. The study was conducted in 15 pig breeding farms producing gilts in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Poland. The gilts were housed in facilities with access to open air (5 piggeries) and without a run (10 pig farms). The welfare of gilts was assessed using behavioral, physiological, health, and production performance criteria. The overall evaluation of welfare was based on designated control points. Summing up the results, we found a higher level of welfare in gilts kept with an access to outside runs. Behavioral responses of gilts managed without an outdoor run involved a higher rate of cases of unusual behavior and more frequent states of anxiety. The serum concentration of haptoglobin in gilts was varied in the studied conditions of living. The lowest average content of Hp was recorded in gilts kept in buildings with outside runs.Ahigher rate of animals suffered a disease and injuries in the facilities without an access to outdoor runs. Under these housing conditions, frequent problems with the legs (leg lameness and deformation) was an issue. An analysis of critical control points indicates that the welfare of pigs remained at a high level.

Keywords: breeding gilts, management system, outdoor runs, welfare


This Article

Published online: 29 Apr 2017

Accesses: 427

How to cite

Augustyńska–Prejsnar, A., Ormian, M., (2012). The welfare of gilts in different housing systems. Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 11(2), 3–14.