Straw is an interesting enrichment material for pigs, but it is difficult to use on farms with slatted floors because of the manure emptying system. Distribution of chopped straw could be an alternative. The aim of the study was to compare the interest of chopped straw to growing pigs to those of various objects, either organic or not. Four identical rooms comprising six pens of nine pigs were used in the experiment. The test was repeated on two batches. In one room, enrichment material in three pens consisted of a straw rack or a straw feeder. In the other three pens, three objects were provided, each in two pens: a “wooden octopus” fixed to the ground, a long chain, or a Bite-Rite. Pig behaviour and individual physical scores (wounds, lameness, aggression) were measured four times during the fattening period.
The amount of straw used was low: 8.3 and 10.1 g/pig/day for the straw rack and straw feeder, respectively. Pigs were interested more in the wooden octopus (17.6% of observations) than in the chain (7.5%) and Bite-Rite (6.3%) and more in straw rack (13.3%) than in or straw feeder (6.0%). Ear lesions were more severe with the straw rack than with the octopus. These results highlight the importance of the design of enrichment devices for pigs.
Valérie Courboulay et Nadine Guingand. Paille ou objets à manipuler : quelle attractivité pour le porc en croissance logé sur caillebotis ? 51èmes Journées de la Recherche Porcine.