Pig toys increase animal wellbeing

German pig equipment specialist WEDA Dammann & Westerkamp has developed a new kind of manipulable material for piglets and fattening pigs in cooperation with Kassel University.

The company’s new rooting cones and pushing balls, made from bite-resistant and food-safe polyurethane, allow the animals to act out their natural play instinct and can permanently busy themselves while standing up, sitting or lying down.

Tested in various pig houses, the animals with access to the cones have so far shown consistently positive results. In particular, behaviour patterns like tail biting have been reduced due to the satisfied rooting instinct.

Trials have also shown that the atmosphere in groups of pigs with rooting cones is more tranquil than in comparison groups, with the result that injuries including visible scratch marks have been observed to decline.

The rooting cone is available in 60mm diameter for piglets and 80mm diameter for finishers. The balls are floor mounted on a stable plastic ground plate with flexible metal springs.

The pushing balls, meanwhile, can be installed onto the metalwork of farrowing crates or feeding/resting pens without having to dismantle the equipment.

For more information visit: www.weda.de

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