The effects of zonation of the pen and grouping in intact litters on use of pen, immune competence and health of pigs

B.M. Damgaard, M. Studnitz, Jens Nielsen, V.A. Moustsen, E. Jorgensen, K.H. Jensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The effects of pen design and group composition were examined with respect to activity, use of pen, floor conditions, health condition and immune competence for groups of 60 pigs. The experiment was designed with the two factors with zones/without zones and divided litters/intact litters. The experiment included a total of 1440 pigs from weaning at the age of 4 weeks to the age of 18 weeks after weaning. In pens with zones, the selection of different areas for different activities was improved. Pens with zones were more dirty in the elimination and open areas than pens without zones. In pens with zones, the number of lymphocytes was decreased, the ability to respond to an additional challenge by a model infection was decreased and the number of neutrophils was increased in intact litters. In week 9, the health condition was better with a group composition consisting of intact litters compared to divided litters. The health condition of the pigs was unaffected by pen design, but noninfectious health condition was improved in pens with zones.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLivestock Science
    Volume104
    Issue number1-2
    Pages (from-to)203-216
    ISSN1871-1413
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Keywords

    • floor condition
    • pen design
    • group composition
    • health
    • large groups
    • activity

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