A cross-sectional study of the prevalence of foot lesions in post-weaning pigs and risks associated with floor type on commercial farms in England

C. E. Gillman, A. L. KilBride, P. Ossent, L. E. Green*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We carried out a cross-sectional study during 2003 and 2004 to establish the prevalence and risk factors associated with floor type for commonly observed foot lesions in pigs aged 6, 8 and 14 weeks. The overall prevalence of foot lesions was 39.6% in 2283 pigs from 90 representative pig farms in England. The most prevalent lesions were heel/sole bruising (7.1%), heel/sole erosion (10.8%), heel flaps (8.4%) and toe erosion (11.6%). Pigs were kept on either solid (41%), partly slatted (28%) or fully slatted (31%) floors. Of the 104 pens with a solid floor, 26% of pens were outside with straw bedding on a soil base, 33% were indoors with deep bedding on solid concrete, 25% were partly deeply bedded on solid concrete and 16% were sparsely bedded on solid concrete. Only six of the pens with partly slatted floors were bedded. Multilevel logistic-regression models were built using data from 100 farms to examine the risks for individual foot lesions with prevalences >5%. The prevalence of toe erosions was positively associated with deep bedding, whereas deep bedding and soil floors were negatively associated with the prevalence of heel/sole erosions. Heel flaps and heel/sole bruising were both associated with slatted floors, possibly indicating a common aetiology. The greatest reduction in prevalence of all these lesions, from AFp calculations, would be achieved by moving pigs from slatted floors onto solid floors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (project AW0135). We thank Assured British Pigs and Quality Meat Scotland for assistance recruiting farmers and the farmers who kindly participated in the project. We thank the field technicians and research staff who helped collecting the data: Jane Slevin, Kerry Woodbine, Megan Turner, Emma Novell, Fiona Boyd, Charlotte Boss, Maureen Horne, Martin Crockett, Lucy Reilly and Bart van den Borne.


  • Bedding
  • Cross-sectional
  • Floor
  • Foot/claw lesion
  • Multilevel modelling
  • Pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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