The forgotten step - welfare concerns for cull sows

Learn about factors causing stress for the cull sow during transport
calendar icon 26 October 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Part of Series:

As soon as a sow is designated as a cull sow, it is very easy to mentally move her down on the priority list. However, just like all pigs in a swine facility, they deserve proper care and actions to mitigate stressors as they make their way to the market. They have earned that! In today’s episode, we talk with Dr. Cecilie Kobek-Kjeldager about her work studying the factors that cause stress for the cull sow during transportation, as well as potential ways to help her and mitigate some of those challenges.

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What you’ll learn:

  1. Problematic areas in cull sow welfare
  2. Transportation concerns
  3. Differences between shipping market hogs and sows
  4. Minimizing aggression during transportation
  5. Preparing cull sows for the market
  6. Biosecurity for transportation

Meet the guest: Dr. Cecilie Kobek-Kjeldager is a Postdoctoral Associate at Aarhus University, in Denmark. During her early career, Cecilie worked with piglet mortality and alternative housing in organic production, the effects of supplying milk replacers to liters of hyper-prolific sows, and the transportation of weaner pigs and cull sows – all of that in a context of behavior and welfare. She believes that more attention should be given to the welfare of the sow during her productive life, but especially as a cull sow sent for slaughter, since that is where she is particularly vulnerable to welfare challenges. Currently, besides her research, Dr. Kobek-Kjeldager is building a research team to investigate how the diet can be used to modulate behavior and stress resilience via the microbiota-gut-brain axis.

Márcio Gonçalves

Founder of Swine it
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