The Dutch Pig Innovation Centre in Sterksel is the first pig farm to adapt the StableStable concept. After weaning, piglets go with their farrow litter to their new pen. Making the transition less stressful. It's one of the facility's in the StableStable concept that stimulates natural behaviour as a safeguard for healthy and stable pig life, which subsequently improves animal welfare and increases on-farm profit margins.
“We are still at the research phase”, explains Anita Hoofs, researcher at Wageningen UR. “At present we are fine-tuning the StableStable concept in Sterksel,and concentrating on the economic aspects of this new housing system.” Early calculations predict an extra profit of € 4.15 per slaughtered pig for an extra investment of € 530 per sow place.”
As illustration of the experimental phase Hoofs explains, that the original plan was to provide two boxes for the piglets to lie in. “But they all lay down together in one box. So we pulled the boxes together.” The idea behind the piglet box was to have something familiar going with them to a new housing system. Less stress, increased feed intake and a supple transition allows the piglets to build up resistance and grow better. “Also the box is nice and warm, while the atmosphere in the housing is fresh. That is good for both the piglet and for the farmer to work in”, Hoofs reveals additional piglet-friendly ideas of the StableStable concept. These include a special area for the piglets to run and play and separate feeding and manuring areas. In this revolutionary new housing system piglets can develop social behaviour, won't revert to tail-biting and benefit from the fresh clean air. This will hopefully produce strong, healthy animals with a high growth rate and fewer mortalities.
For further information please contact Anita Hoofs