An investigation into the effectiveness of compressed straw blocks in reducing abnormal behaviour in growing pigs
The provision of manipulable material to pigs is a legal requirement to ensure their good welfare. Loose straw is edible, chewable, investigable and manipulable, and has been proven to be effective in reducing abnormal behaviour. However, it is incompatible with slatted systems and therefore not a viable option for many intensive units. Thus, there is a need to identify enrichment materials that are as effective as loose straw and compatible with slatted floors. This study investigated the viability of using compressed straw blocks on a commercial farm in terms of cost and effectiveness in reducing biting relative to plastic hanging toys.