Environment Enrichment: A practical Guide
The legislation surrounding provision of environmental enrichment does not stipulate what does and doesn’t constitute appropriate enrichment. What is most important is that it is provided in a sufficient quantity to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities, as well as being safe for both pigs and stockpersons.
AHDB Pork is currently working on finding a suitable method for determining whether or not enrichment in a pen is meeting the needs of the pigs. Research being conducted as part of FareWellDock, a European project, is also looking at what quantity of chewing and rooting material is sufficient to satisfy the pigs’ need to explore.
Red Tractor Farm Assurance standards stipulate that chains alone are not acceptable – they may only be used when in conjunction with other objects or material.
A practical guide to environmental enrichment for pigs
There is a wide range of enrichment options and materials available that can be used in different ways, but which vary in their properties and suitability for pigs in different housing systems.
Our guide provides practical advice to pig farmers on providing suitable environmental enrichment to pigs. It provides information from the knowledge of farmers, researchers and scientific literature on the different ways environmental enrichment can be provided for differing types of housing and pigs.
The information is set out in sections by housing type and, in each, the types of enrichment that are most suited to each system are discussed, their key properties, how to present the enrichment, quantities, and practical considerations too, such as ease of installation, maintenance and costs.