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Review: Factors affecting fouling in conventional pens for slaughter pigs

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This review assesses factors affecting fouling in conventional pens for slaughter pigs. Fouling of the pen happens when pigs change their excretory behaviour from occurring in the designated dunging area to the lying area. This can result in a lower hygiene, bad air quality, extra work for the farmer, disturbance of the pigs’ resting behaviour and an increase in agonistic interactions. A systematic search was conducted and results narrowed down to 21 articles. Four factors were found to affect fouling directly: insufficient space allowance, the flooring design of the pen, the thermal climate and pigs’ earlier experience. Further, these primary factors are affected by secondary factors such as the shape of the pen, the weight of the pigs and especially the heat balance of the pigs, which is affected by several tertiary factors including, for example, temperature, humidity and draught. Results indicate that the most important factor to control when trying to prevent fouling of a pen is the pen climate. An appropriate climate may be accomplished through floor cooling in the designated lying area, sprinklers above the designated dunging area and by ensuring a more optimal ambient temperature curve that also fits the weight of the pigs in different stages of the production. All in all, fouling of the pen in conventional slaughter pigs is a multifactorial problem, but it is important to focus on increasing the comfortability, and especially the climate, of the designated lying area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • fouling, thermoregulatory behaviour, lying behaviour, excretory behaviour, slaughter pigs

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