The revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs includes several changes that impact production practices on Canadian farms, including requirements for the provision of enrichment to pigs at all stages as well as group housing for sows. Multiple studies have shown that providing appropriate enrichments can result in significant benefits to pigs.
Because pigs are highly motivated to explore their environment, enrichment gives them something to root and interact with in the pen environment, and can reduce the manipulation of pen mates. Enrichment benefits include reduced fear responses, reduced aggression and vices, and improved growth. There are multiple enrichment options that can be used such as alternative feed types, pen objects, pen design, or human interaction. Many of these enrichments can be produced on-farm and implemented at low cost.
Enrichment presentation from the 2016 Manitoba Swine Seminars:SlidesDownload