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

The effects of environmental enrichment and timing of enrichment provision on the development of damaging behaviours in swine

Research Team:

  • MSc Student: Abby Tillotson
  • Supervisor: Dr. Jennifer Brown – Prairie Swine Centre; and Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner – University of Saskatchewan
  • Project members: Dr. Yolande Seddon – WCVM University of Saskatchewan

Funding Agency:


Project Timeline:

  • May 2022-May 2024


The Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs requires that all pigs have multiple forms of enrichment. While there is a cost to the provision of environmental enrichments, previous research has shown that enriched pigs have heavier carcasses and improved meat quality compared to animals reared without enrichments. Furthermore, certain enrichment materials have been shown to reduce the level of pen-mate manipulation and aggression.

Project Objectives:

  • Investigate the effects of environmental enrichment provision in the form of sheets of paper with an added citrus scent during different life stages (first two months vs. last four months of age) on physical, physiological, and behavioural development of growing pigs
  • Investigate the economics of providing environmental enrichment to swine

Value of this research:

This longitudinal study will provide useful resources for producers and scientists regarding the relationship between environmental enrichment and behavioural development of growing pigs. The research will also help support Canadian pork producers by providing applicable information regarding the best time and the value of practical enrichment to provide to growing pigs.

Links to results:

Results are expected to be ready for dissemination in 2024.