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Improving young pig welfare on-farm: PDD Review paper

This review paper, ‘Improving young pig welfare on-farm: The Five Domains Model’ authored by Keelin O’Driscoll, Teagasc Research Officer, Anna K Johnson, Jean-Loup Rault, Jeremy N Marchant and Emma M Baxter was recently published. It considers welfare through the neonatal and nursery pig perspective

Improving young pig welfare on-farm: The Five Domains Model

It considers welfare through the “neonatal and nursery pig perspective”, overlaying this with the Five Domains Model, it points to practical on-farm improvements that may improve pig welfare.

Domains 1 through 4 are Nutrition, Physical Environment, Health, and Behavioral Interaction. All interweave with Domain 5: Mental state.

A variety of topics are covered under the five domains.

Domain 1 discusses optimal colostrum intake, and milk and feed.

Domain 2 considers space complexity, key resource access, and thermal and physical amenities.

Domain 3 discusses congenital and hereditary health, environmental pathogen load, colostrum quality and quantity effects on the microbiome.

Domain 4 discusses opportunities for the pig to express its behavioral repertoire, particularly positive social interactions, play, and exploration.

Improvements in these areas will result in good welfare, and positive mental state in pigs.

Table 1: Application of the Five Domains Model and neonatal and nursey pig welfare on-farm 


Read the review in full on the Oxford Academic Journal of Agricultural Science webpage here

The Pig Development Department (PDD) issue an article on a topic of interest to pig producers on Fridays here on Teagasc Daily. Find out more here about the Teagasc Pig Development Department here