Kirsty Chidgey

Doctor of Philosophy, (Science)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The Productivity and Behaviour of Sows and Piglets Housed in Farrowing Pens with Temporary Crating or Farrowing Crates

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Concerns for the welfare of sows in farrowing crates have led to the development of less restrictive pen-based alternatives, providing sows with more space when they give birth and nurse their piglets. Ms Chidgey’s research compared sow and piglet productivity and behaviour in farrowing crates and farrowing pens on a commercial pig farm. Sows and piglets were observed for six days after giving birth, and production data was recorded in both farrowing systems. She found piglet mortality was significantly higher in farrowing pens than in farrowing crates, suggesting reduced piglet welfare in this system. Sows in pens interacted more with their piglets than those in crates. Her research followed the next generation and found that sows that were reared in pens were more interactive towards their own piglets irrespective of whether they gave birth in a crate or a pen

Professor Patrick Morel
Professor Kevin Stafford
Mr Ian Barugh