Submitted to: Feedstuffs
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Purdue University animal scientist Ed Pajor is pursuing alternative sow housing research co-sponsored by McDonald's Corp. Last year, the fast- food company set welfare guidelines for poultry suppliers. Pajor is investigating performance of group versus individual sow housing on piglet weaning. He found sows penned as groups spend more time away from their litters, but piglets are better prepared for the stress of weaning. "Individual stalls allow for good animal management but limit an animal's movement and ability to socialize," he said. Swine welfare studies are part of a multi disciplinary research effort by Purdue University's Food Animal Productivity and Well-Being Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Livestock Behavior Research Unit. USDA researcher Susan Eicher is studying the influence of transportation methods on swine, with an emphasis on lean hogs. "Some problems may be solved through better breeding, but the industry also may need to improve the way it handles leaner pigs," she said. Other Purdue research involves poultry and dairy. For example, Bill Muir is developing a "kinder, gentler" chicken that fits the poultry industry's objective of eliminating beak trimming in the near future. "The challenge is to evaluate production practices scientifically to ensure we are raising animals humanely," said Jeff Armstrong, Head of Purdue's Animal science Department.