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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #393791

Research Project: Protecting the Welfare of Food Producing Animals

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Title: Improving young pig welfare on-farm: The five domains model

Author
item JOHNSON, ANNA - Iowa State University
item RAULT, JEAN-LOUP - University Of Veterinary Medicine
item Marchant-Forde, Jeremy
item BAXTER, EMMA - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item O'DRISCOLL, KEELIN - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/6/2022
Publication Date: 5/10/2022
Citation: Johnson, A.K., Rault, J., Marchant, J.N., Baxter, E., O'Driscoll, K. 2022. Improving young pig welfare on-farm: The five domains model. Journal of Animal Science. 100(6). Article skac164. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skac164.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skac164

Interpretive Summary: Considering welfare through the “eyes of the neonatal and nursery pig” is an exciting approach, and one that resonates with customers and consumers. Overlaying this with the 5-Domains framework we suggest in this review, practical on-farm improvements that provide each pig the opportunity to experience positive mental states. The Five Domains model is broken into physical and functional state, that includes Domain 1 Nutrition, Domain 2 Physical Environment, Domain 3 Health and, Domain 4 Behavioral Interaction, and Domain 5: Mental state. Using the breadth and depth of swine welfare science there are ample opportunities. In Domain 1 the hyperprolific sow and her litters are counter-balanced with examples of sow vs. artificial feeding, colostrum quality and quantity, and creep feed management strategies. Efforts can result in positive mental states such as feeling full and content and the ability to experience pleasure of drinking and food tastes/smells. Domain 2 considers space quality and quantity, access to key resources, along with thermal and physical amenities. These efforts result in a pig feeling full, content and physically comfortable. Domain 3 considers pig health in three broad, yet inter-linking categories, (a) congenital and hereditary health, (b) environmental pathogen load and, (c) colostrum quality and quantity and its effect on the microbiome. Improvements can result in a pig that displays vitality. Finally, Domain 4 provides the pig opportunities to engage in a rich behavioral repertoire, specifically, it delves into positive social interactions, play, exploration and increased locomotion. These efforts can result in feelings of calm, safety, comfort, companionship, engagement, interest and reward. In conclusion, we used the Five Domains model and provided numerous opportunities to improve current- and future housing and management through the “eyes of the neonatal and nursery pig” with a focus on improving positive mental state and in-turn pig welfare.

Technical Abstract: Considering welfare through the “eyes of the neonatal and nursery pig” is an exciting approach, and one that resonates with customers and consumers. Overlaying this with the 5-Domains framework we suggest in this review, practical on-farm improvements that provide each pig the opportunity to experience positive mental states. The Five Domains model is broken into physical and functional state, that includes Domain 1 Nutrition, Domain 2 Physical Environment, Domain 3 Health and, Domain 4 Behavioral Interaction, and Domain 5: Mental state. Using the breadth and depth of swine welfare science there are ample opportunities. In Domain 1 the hyperprolific sow and her litters are counter-balanced with examples of sow vs. artificial feeding, colostrum quality and quantity, and creep feed management strategies. Efforts can result in positive mental states such as feeling full and content and the ability to experience pleasure of drinking and food tastes/smells. Domain 2 considers space quality and quantity, access to key resources, along with thermal and physical amenities. These efforts result in a pig feeling full, content and physically comfortable. Domain 3 considers pig health in three broad, yet inter-linking categories, (a) congenital and hereditary health, (b) environmental pathogen load and, (c) colostrum quality and quantity and its effect on the microbiome. Improvements can result in a pig that displays vitality. Finally, Domain 4 provides the pig opportunities to engage in a rich behavioral repertoire, specifically, it delves into positive social interactions, play, exploration and increased locomotion. These efforts can result in feelings of calm, safety, comfort, companionship, engagement, interest and reward. In conclusion, we used the Five Domains model and provided numerous opportunities to improve current- and future housing and management through the “eyes of the neonatal and nursery pig” with a focus on improving positive mental state and in-turn pig welfare.