Feed that is ground too finely, which is common in pig feeding, is one of the causes of gastric ulcers. Moreover, the lack of dietary fiber as well as the lack of occupational material are related to abnormal behaviour such as tail biting. In Switzerland, farms have to provide pigs with straw, roughage or similar material. However, roughages like grass silage or hay are used very rarely, even on organic farms. Especially for entire males who show more activity and aggression, roughages could possibly have a calming effect. Therefore, we investigate in an experimental part, whether entire males show more signs of chronic stress than castrated males and whether roughages may have a stress-reducing effect. In an on-farm trial on several organic pig farms, we will look at effects of grass silage on animal health, welfare and product quality.
Betreuung der Doktorandin Mirjam Holinger bezüglich Versuchsdurchführung auf den Praxisbetrieben; fachliche Unterstützung bezüglich Schweine- und Eberhaltung