Pigs (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (PB7950)

Section 1 - Feed, water and other substances

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870), Schedule 1, paragraphs 22 - 24 and 26 state that:
  1. Animals shall be fed a wholesome diet which is appropriate to their age and species and which is fed to them in sufficient quantity to maintain them in good health and to satisfy their nutritional needs and to promote a positive state of well-being.
  2. No animals shall be provided with food or liquid in a manner, nor shall such food or liquid contain any substance, which may cause them unnecessary suffering or injury.
  3. All animals shall have access to feed at intervals appropriate to their physiological needs (and, in any case, at least once a day), except where a veterinary surgeon acting in the exercise of his profession otherwise directs.
  1. Feeding and watering equipment shall be designed, constructed, placed and maintained so that contamination of food and water and the harmful effects of competition between animals are minimised.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299) Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 14 states that:
  1. (1) All pigs must be fed at least once a day.

    (2) Where pigs are housed in a group and do not have continuous access to feed, or are not fed by an automatic feeding system feeding the animals individually, each pig must have access to the food at the same time as the others in the feeding group.
67. All pigs need a balanced daily diet to maintain full health and vigour. You should plan any changes in the diet and introduce them gradually.
68. When introducing pigs to unaccustomed housing, you should make sure that the animals are able to find the feed and water points. When newly weaned piglets are moved to pens where water is provided through nipple drinkers unfamiliar to the piglets, it is good practice to provide alternative water sources for the first few days.
69. Where pigs are fed on a rationed feed level to control intake, you should ensure that adequate trough space is provided to ensure that all pigs can receive their allocation. The following guidelines for trough space per pig apply:
5 10
10 13
15 15
35 20
60 23
90 28
120 30
70. Good hygiene is necessary for storage and feeding systems as moulds can develop in stale feed which can have a detrimental effect on pigs. Feed bins should be cleaned out regularly.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 15 states that:

All pigs over two weeks of age must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of fresh drinking water.

71. There are several factors you should take into consideration when looking at the provision of water to pigs:
  • the total volume available;
  • the flow rate (pigs will not spend a long time taking water);
  • the method of provision e.g. the type of drinker; and
  • its accessibility to all stock.
72. The following is a guide to minimum daily water requirements for various weights of pig:
Weight of pig (kg) Daily requirement (litres) Minimum flow rate through nipple drinkers (litres/min)
Newly weaned 1.0 - 1.5 0.3
Up to 20 kgs 1.5 - 2.0 0.5 - 1.0
20 kgs - 40 kgs 2.0 - 5.0 1.0 - 1.5
Finishing pigs up to 100 kgs 5.0 - 6.0 1.0 - 1.5
Sows and gilts - pre-service and in pig 5.0 - 8.0 2.0
Sows and gilts - in lactation 15 - 30 2.0
Boars 5.0 - 8.0 2.0
73. Waste water and excessive flow rates can be detrimental, particularly for sows in farrowing accommodation and very young pigs.
74. You should carefully consider the height at which water nipples and bowls are placed. All pigs must be able to access the drinking point. This might require height-adjustable, or several different, drinkers at various heights when groups of pigs of a range of weights are housed together or when pigs are housed in a pen for a long period.
75. Where nipple drinkers are used, a drinking point should be available for each ten pigs on rationed feeding. On unrestricted feeding, one nipple drinker should provide adequate supply for 15 pigs given sufficient flow rates. Where trough systems are used, the following guidelines should be applied:
Up to 15 0.8
15 - 35 1.0
76. If you use a wet feeding system, pigs must have access to a separate fresh water supply.
77. Feed and water should not be completely withdrawn from sows which are being dried off.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870), Schedule 1, paragraph 27 states that:

No other substance, with the exception of those given for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes or for the purpose of zootechnical treatment shall be administered to animals unless it has been demonstrated by scientific studies of animal welfare or established experience that the effect of that substance is not detrimental to the health or welfare of the animals.

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