Modified wean-to-finish mat as an alternative handling tool for moving grow-finish pig cadavers: A pilot study
Ella E. Akin BS; Anna K. Johnson, PhD; Jason W. Ross, PhD; Suzanne T. Millman, PhD; Cassandra D. Jass, DVM; John P. Stinn, PhD; Kenneth J. Stalder, PhD
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Through the National Pork Board, the US pork industry provides recommendations for humane handling tools and acceptable non-ambulatory pig handling methods. While these recommendations are useful, there is a lack of published evidence regarding the efficacy of humane handling tools commercially available for moving non-ambulatory pigs. Wean-to-finish mats are commonly used on-farm to provide comfortable resting areas for newly weaned pigs and to minimize feed waste around feeders. The objective of this project was to test a commercial wean-to-finish mat as a humane handling tool for non-ambulatory grow-finish pigs. On-farm testing was accomplished using pig cadavers (n = 3; 135, 118, and 68 kg) to evaluate mat effectiveness based on employee effort and preference. Our results do not support wean-to-finish mats as effective handling tools for moving non-ambulatory grow-finish pigs.
Keywords: caretakers, grow-finish pig, handling tools, non-ambulatory pigs
Cite as: Akin EE, Johnson AK, Ross JW, et al. Modified wean-to-finish mat as an alternative handling tool for moving grow-finish pig cadavers: A pilot study. J Swine Health Prod 2019;27(5):278-283.
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