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Friday, May 12, 2017

How to reduce aggression in pigs.

When new ,unfamiliar pigs are grouped together they fight to establish dominance relationships. This natural behavior can, under farm conditions, escalate to the extent where health and productivity are affected. Aggression increases stress, causes skin lesions and can result in injury and reduced immunity and growth. Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC, formerly SAC) in Edinburgh, UK have been working on pig aggression for over 15 years and recently, an information leaflet on aggression has been made available for farmers. The effect of aggression on productivity, aggression between newly mixed pigs lasts for around 24 hours, after which it reduces but remains high for up to three weeks. Aggression results in skin lesions which mostly fade after one or two days. Aggression increases stress, causes skin lesions and can result in injury and reduced immunity and growth. In sows it can lead to abortion. The time spent on fighting comes directly at the cost of the time spent on feeding. Growth rate is therefore most often reduced on the first days after regrouping. How to reduce aggression in pigs 1) re grouping: If needed, then regroup pigs as young as possible. The older and heavier pigs are, the more likely that growth will be reduced and injuries occur. Endeavor to keep the number of unfamiliar pigs per pen as low as possible. The higher the familiarity, the fewer the fights. Caution: Do not put one or two unfamiliar pigs in an established group. more