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Do umbilical outpouchings affect the behaviour or clinical condition of pigs during 6h housing in a pre-transport pick-up facility?

Schild, Sarah-Lina Aa., Rousing, Tine, Jensen, Henrik E., Barington, Kristiane, Herskin, Mette S.
Research in veterinary science 2015 v.101 pp. 126-131
aggression, hernia, skin lesions, swine
This study focused on behavioural and clinical effects of umbilical outpouchings (UOs) in pigs. Matched pairs of pigs with UOs (diameter 12cm; range 4–20; diagnosed p.m. as hernia or non-hernia) and controls (N=28) were compared during a 6-h stay in a pick-up facility. Overall, skin lesion scores were increased after the 6-h stay. Behaviour of the UO-pigs differed from the controls (a shorter latency to lie down (P<0.05) and decreased aggression (P<0.05)). Pigs with umbilical hernia showed e.g. increased sitting (P<0.05) and decreased lying (P<0.05) compared to pigs with non-hernia UOs. No effects of the size of the OUs were found. These results are among the first to establish knowledge about UO-pigs and suggest that a stay in a pick-up facility can be challenging for pig welfare. The behavioural findings suggest that UO-pigs, and especially pigs with hernia, may be less fit for mixing and housing in barren environments.