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Sow and Piglet Welfare Comparison in Farrowing crates vs Small pens Essay Example

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Sow and Piglet Welfare Comparison in Farrowing crates vs Small pens

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In addition, the sow also protects its piglets from predators and offers them a vertical social learning environment (Bell 38).Sow crates that have been used during the time of farrowing plus lactation when it comes to intensive piggeries usually prevent sows from expressing their maternal behaviors as they are confined to a restricted area and limit their interaction with their piglets (Prolit 72). In sows, they are often restricted in terms of movement too. Sows confined to crates hence have few maternal responsibilities towards their piglets (Prolit 74). According to research conducted, it was found out that sows in crates were less responsive to their voices of their piglets as they directed less behaviors towards them based on poor interactions than if they were left free in the wild (Prolit 78). In small pens, the pigs have more space to roam around when compared to crates and can easily interact with their piglets. Maternal behaviours are more expressed in pen house as it can house the sow and piglets.In having crates, means some aspects related to maternal behavior will be deemed unnecessary for the pigs. Some of these aspects include the sow building a nest for the piglets, providing protection of the piglets from outside predators, giving warmth (McMeekan 89). In crates, warmth is generally provided by use of heat lamps. Protection from predators is not necessary by mothers as humans offer that provision (McMeekan 95). Furthermore, the crates themselves are expected to serve as nests to the pigs instead of them making them in the wild. Pen house best provide the sows a chance to express some of the maternal behavior like protection of their piglets and provision of warmth. Modern pen housing that have been used intensively for farrowing and lactating sows have also been seen to have ignored some maternal behavior aspects like nest building (Croft 38).In addition, piglets raised in confined crates usually are deprived of the ability to relate to others in order to learn and develop. It is important for piglets to associate with other piglets and sows in order to learn their social life. As said above, sows before parturition normally stay close to sows that are of its generation (Croft 56). Piglets in confined environments fail to know their social life. It is because of this deprivation of the above ability to learn, interact and develop socially that led to the development

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