Pigs want to live in stable family groups

 

 Pigs are naturally social animals. In the wild a social unit comprises of:

•        1-4 females

•        Their offspring

•        Boar’s who join females during mating season

Such groups are highly hierarchical. Each pig has a place, and knows its place, in the group heirarchy. Consequently the pigs live in harmony with the other pigs in the family grouping.

Natural Farming ensures pigs live stress free lives in stable family groups

Natural pig farming supports the natural behavioral drives of pigs. They are kept together in stable family groups where hierarchies are formed at birth and then maintained throughout their lives. Piglets are kept in family groups from birth through to slaughter. Sows are kept in small family groups in an open pen. These sows are taken from the same litter/family group they were raised in.

By keeping pigs in their stable family groups we improve their well-being, health, welfare and growth.

Benefits:

  • No aggression
  • No injuries from fighting
  • Low levels of illness
  • Good growth rates
  • Productive sows with large litter sizes
  • Happy pigs living in a stress free environment they clearly enjoy

We have tranquil, non aggressive pigs that are a pleasure to raise.

Factory farming system causes pig aggression and stress

Factory farms that grow piglets to slaughter age continue to mix pigs from different groups throughout the different stages of their development. The pigs are repeatedly mixed with unfamiliar individuals in crowded pens with disastrous results. Each pigs has to repeatedly fight to establish its place in a hierarchy and as a result fight injuries are sustained. The level of aggression is heightened by the fact that in the overcrowded conditions the pigs are kept in, there is no space for an attacked pig to escape away from any attack. Not surprisingly the pigs become highly stressed, making it not only an unhappy existence but one where the body immune system is less able to fend off any viruses active within the environment. It has also been shown that mixing pigs in this way slows growth rates, a demonstrable measure that such conditions stress the pigs to such a degree that even physical growth is retarded as a result.

Natural pig farming v factory farming

Group housing with staple family groups

Natural pig farming

Factory farming

Stable family groups maintained throughout life Yes No

No pig aggression issues

Yes

No

No fight injuries

Yes

No

Low illness levels

Yes

No

No growth retardation

Yes

No

Stress free environment

Yes

No

 

The better way to raise pigs