Background: Lesions on sows' limbs and bodies are an abnormality that might impact on their welfare. The prevalence of and risks for limb and body lesions on lactating sows on commercial English pig farms were investigated using direct observation of the sows and their housing.Results: The prevalence of lesions on the limbs and body were 93% (260/279) and 20% (57/288) respectively. The prevalence of limb and body lesions was significantly lower in outdoor-housed sows compared with indoor-housed sows. Indoor-housed sows had an increased risk of wounds (OR 6.8), calluses (OR 8.8) and capped hock (OR 3.8) on their limbs when housed on fully slatted floors compared with solid concrete floors. In addition, there was an increased risk of bursitis (OR 2.7), capped hock (OR 2.3) and shoulder lesions (OR 4.8) in sows that were unwilling to rise to their feet. There was a decreased risk of shoulder lesions (OR 0.3) and lesions elsewhere on the body (OR 0.2) in sows with more than 20 cm between their tail and the back of the crate compared with sows with less than 10 cm.Conclusion: The sample of outdoor housed sows in this study had the lowest prevalence of limb and body lesions. In lactating sows housed indoors there was a general trend for an increased risk of limb and body lesions in sows housed on slatted floors compared with those housed on solid concrete floors with bedding. Sows that were less responsive to human presence and sows that had the least space to move within their crates had an additional increased risk of lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas