NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare
NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare
(306) 966-7151
WCVM, UofS, 52 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK

Quantifying the effects of extra space, enrichment, and handling during a critical development period on the welfare outcomes and stress resilience of pigs

Research Team:

  • PhD Student: Siba Khalife
  • Supervisor: Dr. Yolande Seddon
  • Project Collaborators: Jose Ceron, Murcia University

Funding Agency:

Project Timeline:

  • 2021 to 2024


Providing a rearing environment that is conducive to supporting healthy development and a positive affective state during the two sensitive periods of brain development (birth to four weeks of age, and 4 to 12 weeks of age) may result in more resilient pigs, with benefits throughout the pig’s life for welfare and productivity.

Project Objectives:

Examine whether enrichment in the form of extra space, physical enrichments, and positive human contact during lactation and/or the nursery period will result in improved stress resilience, behavioural development, and growth rates throughout the pig’s life.

Value of this research:

This work will determine if there are beneficial and additive effects to targeted management of the pig within the first four to 12 weeks of life to shape the behavioural and stress resilience of the pig, and the consequences for lifetime pig welfare and performance. This work is important to uncover ways to optimize welfare and performance in the fully-slatted system and could contribute to supporting other industry goals such as reducing antibiotic use, to which the fundamental resilience of the pig is important for success.

What we discovered:

Check back soon for research results.