5 January 1996

Teat wound report

WOUNDS to the teats and udder are less frequent in group-housed compared with individually-housed sows, according to a report in the Vet Record, Dec 23, 1995.

The health of 170 sows on four farms where they were kept in groups from two weeks of lactation until weaning was compared with the health of 167 sows on three farms where they were kept penned individually throughout the five to six-week lactation.

Although the group-housed sows suffered less teat and udder damage, 6.6% of these sows dried off before the piglets were weaned, probably indicating fewer interactions between group-housed sows and piglets.

when the sows were housed in groups. This effect did not apply to the first lactation sows.

The incidence of mastitis was the same in the two systems, as was the incidence of locomotion disorders; overgrowth of the hooves was common in both systems and there was a strong correlation between the locomotion disorders and overgrowth. These similarities may have been due to the fact that all the farms housed the dry sows together on deep litter.