NORTH AMERICA - Pork producers in Canada and the United States are being encouraged to take part in a survey which is looking at how behavior is used to select pigs for group housing, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Michigan State University is surveying pork producers in the United States and Canada to learn how they use behavior in their on-farm management of pigs.
Dr Sarah Ison, a post doctoral fellow in the Animal Science Department of Michigan State University, says the aim of the project is to reduce production losses by identifying pigs that are best suited for group living.
Dr Sarah Ison-Michigan State University:
This has come off the back of the increasing number of sows now housed in group sow housing as opposed to individuals.
What the project is looking at, particularly focusing on pig aggression, using behavior and also genomic and genetic tools to be able to identity these pigs.
This part of the project is really trying to get some information from the pork producers about what is actually going on on farm.
So we are surveying pork producers across the United States and also Canada.
It doesn't matter what type of farm. This survey is designed for all different types of farms. If they have breeding sows or not, it doesn't matter. You'll be directed to correct part of the survey. The project actually is quite large.
It involves researchers from Michigan State University and it also involves researchers from Scotland Rural College in Edinborough, Scotland and is based on a lot of research in the past in this area.
The whole project is going to use data from multiple projects to get some really good strong results on this subject.
Dr Ison says the hope is to gather responses from at least 500 producers.
For more information on the survey or to participate visit msupigbehavior.questionpro.com.
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