Pig production: Foraging and feeling happy as a pig in muck
Pigs that can root lively generally feel happy as pigs in muck. The Düsse foraging tower allows the pigs a form of occupation appropriate to their species. It ensures increased satisfaction and less stress in the house. This new development for pig production has already been awarded a DLG silver medal for innovation on an international level on the occasion of EuroTier 2012. Big Dutchman is especially glad to be able to offer this innovative exclusively as a sales partner with immediate effect.
"This innovative concept of an enrichment toy exactly matches our focus on integrated pig production for the future", says Magnus Westerkamp, the managing director of Big Dutchman Pig Equipment GmbH. The world-wide acting company from Calveslage near Vechta in Germany proactively promotes legislators' efforts of improving animal well-being in livestock houses. According to several initiatives for animal welfare, pigs should have access any time to organic enrichment toys already today. "The foraging tower can be filled with straw and hay but also other suitable materials which means that it ideally matches our concept", says Magnus Westerkamp.
The foraging tower designed in the Haus Düsse testing and educational centre for agriculture is protected as sample and allows the pigs' access to small bundles of spears at any time. Usually, the pigs are standing on slatted floor without litter to minimise the distribution of germs and diseases. The foraging tower therefore neither serves as litter nor as feeding system but solely as a means of occupation respecting animal welfare: The pigs can nudge the material out of the tower through the adjustable opening onto a hygienic rooting plate on the floor, occupy themselves with it or slowly eat it. This kind of foraging remains interesting for the pigs throughout their lifetime.
"This cooperation between the economy and Haus Düsse is a very special type of cooperation," emphasizes Dr. Gerhard Haumann, the head of the testing and educational centre. "We are especially interested in spreading our idea as widely as possible as it is an important element for increasing animal welfare and comfort", continues Dr. Haumann. Although the foraging tower was designed for pig finishing in the first place, it can also be installed without problems independently in houses or pens in pig rearing or for groups of sows.