Interpretive Summary: Improving young pig welfare on-farm: The Five Domains Model
By: Anna K Johnson, Jean-Loup Rault, Jeremy N Marchant, Emma M Baxter, Keelin O’Driscoll
Considering welfare through the “neonatal and nursery pig perspective” is an exciting approach. Overlaying this with the Five Domains Model, as we suggest in this review, points to practical on-farm improvements that provide each pig the opportunity to experience positive mental states. The first four domains consider physical and functional states; with Domains 1 through 4 being Nutrition, Physical Environment, Health, and Behavioral Interaction, respectively. All interweave with Domain 5: Mental state. A plethora of examples are discussed; Domain 1 critiques optimal colostrum intake, and milk and feed quality that result in feelings of fullness and contentment. Domain 2 considers space complexity, key resource access, and thermal and physical amenities with these efforts resulting in feelings of comfort and agency. Domain 3 discusses congenital and hereditary health, environmental pathogen load, colostrum quality and quantity effects on the microbiome, and how these improve pig vitality and feelings of good health and fitness. Domain 4 discusses opportunities for the pig to express its behavioral repertoire, particularly positive social interactions, play, and exploration with feelings of control and agency. Improvements will result in pigs feeling calm, safe, comfortable, enjoying companionship, engaged, interested, and leading a rewarding life
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.