Special Issue "Sustainable Pig Production"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Wendy Rauw
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Breeding, National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA), Madrid, Spain
Interests: resource allocation; animal robustness; feed efficiency; genetics
Dr. Sabine Dippel
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Celle, Germany
Interests: farm animal welfare; pig husbandry; on-farm research
Dr. Barbara Sturm
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany
Interests: resource efficiency; precision livestock farming; digitalization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable pig production is characterized by economic profitability through the improvement of productive output, while maintaining good animal health and welfare, and without compromising environmental resources. Increased levels of meat production are required in order to feed the projected world population of 9 billion people by the year 2050 while producers experience a greater competition of land, water, and energy. As a consequence, international efforts are currently being undertaken to improve the accuracy of feed recording, implement precision feeding techniques, and increase feed efficiency (FE) by genetic selection. However, reducing feed resource inputs per unit of product outputs may potentially negatively affect the metabolic balance and compromise overall animal robustness and welfare.

The sustainability of pig production does not end at the animal or farm production scale. Sustainable agriculture also includes the safeguarding and sustainable use of environmental resources. When intensification of production translates to increasing external inputs or detrimental outputs, this may be regarded as unsustainable in view of risks for the environment. Alternatively, the sustainability of production can be enhanced by improving the efficiency of pigs in transforming local feeds and feedstuff co-products into meat. However, since the quantity and quality of feed resources limits productive output, this may require a different type of pig than those currently selected in intensive high-quality input–high output production systems.

This issue calls for reviews and original research articles related to the development of sustainable, socially acceptable, and economically viable pig production systems, including work related to animal robustness and welfare, resource utilization, emissions and wastes, management approaches and tools, the use of alternative pig breeds, the use of alternative feed resources, the environmental and social impact of pig production, interests of stakeholders, and consumer behavior and public acceptance of the pig production sector.

Dr. Wendy Rauw
Dr. Sabine Dippel
Dr. Barbara Sturm
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • pig production
  • sustainable production systems
  • management tools and approaches
  • pig health
  • pig welfare
  • alternative feedstuffs
  • robustness
  • resource efficiency
  • emissions and wastes
  • social impact
  • economic impact

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Dietary Fiber on the Development of the Gastrointestinal Tract and the Performance of Gilts
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4961; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124961 - 18 Jun 2020
Abstract
Optimal intestinal development in gilts is a prerequisite for a better farrowing and a higher feed intake in lactation, and these are important facets in improving animal welfare for sows in a high-performance situation. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of [...] Read more.
Optimal intestinal development in gilts is a prerequisite for a better farrowing and a higher feed intake in lactation, and these are important facets in improving animal welfare for sows in a high-performance situation. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a fiber-rich diet on these topics. Studies with 20 male Topigs castrates and a performance study with 38 female siblings were conducted. Pigs in both of the groups were offered either a control diet (CG) or a high fiber diet (FG) during the second half of the rearing phase (~97 kg BW) until 7 days a.p. At the time of the insemination of the gilts (body weight >170 kg), the castrates were slaughtered and the morphological parameters of the gastrointestinal tract were taken. In the performance study, the feed intake as well as the number and weight of the live and stillborn piglets and the weaning weight of the litters were recorded. The results indicated that the high fiber diet with a greater swelling capacity was beneficial to the development of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach weight CG = 714 g, FG = 812 g, p = 0.007), increased the litter weight (CG =15.9 kg, FG = 20.6 kg, p = 0.045) and resulted in a higher feed intake during lactation overall (CG = 196 kg, FG = 211 kg, p = 0.035). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Pig Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Feed Efficiency Can Be Sustained in Pigs Fed with Locally Produced Narbon Vetch (Vicia narbonensis L.)
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 3993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12103993 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
There is an interest in replacing soybean meal with locally produced ingredients in livestock feeds. Narbon vetch is resistant to unfavorable climatic and soil conditions, common pests, and has a favorable nutritional profile. The effect of substitution of soybean meal with 0% (V0), [...] Read more.
There is an interest in replacing soybean meal with locally produced ingredients in livestock feeds. Narbon vetch is resistant to unfavorable climatic and soil conditions, common pests, and has a favorable nutritional profile. The effect of substitution of soybean meal with 0% (V0), 5% (V5), 10% (V10), and 20% (V20) inclusion of Narbon vetch on growth curve parameters, daily body weight gain (DBWG), daily feed intake (DFI), feed conversion efficiency (FCE), and residual feed intake (RFI) was investigated in 47 Duroc × Iberian barrows in 16 periods (a total of 125 d). DFI and DBWG were reduced (p < 0.05) up to four weeks after introduction of the novel feed in V20 and V10. Small, mostly nonsignificant differences existed between treatments in FCE and RFI. However, because of accumulative small differences in feed efficiency between the four diets, pigs in V0 reached the highest BW, and pigs in V20 reached the lowest BW on a similar feed intake. Economic implications of Narbon vetch inclusion depend on the extra amount of feed required and associated feed costs, and on the costs of additional days on-farm required to reach a given slaughter weight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Pig Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Using CFD Modelling to Relate Pig Lying Locations to Environmental Variability in Finishing Pens
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051928 - 03 Mar 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to determine which environmental factors within the pen space differ between the locations where pigs choose to lie and areas they avoid. Data on external weather conditions and the construction parameters for an existing commercial finishing pig [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to determine which environmental factors within the pen space differ between the locations where pigs choose to lie and areas they avoid. Data on external weather conditions and the construction parameters for an existing commercial finishing pig building were input into a Dynamic Thermal (DT) model generating heat flow and surface temperature patterns in the structure and these were then input into a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model to generate data on the theoretical spatial patterns of temperature and air velocity within one room of this building on a specified day. The exact location of each pig in six selected pens within this room was taken from images from ceiling-mounted video cameras at four representative time points across the day. Using extracted air velocity and temperature data at the height of 0.64 m above the floor and a grid of approximately 600 mm to create a series of ‘cells’, the effective draught temperature (TED) was calculated from the models for each cell. Using a sequential regression model, the extent to which the actual lying locations of the pigs could be reliably predicted from the environmental conditions generated by model outputs and other pen factors was explored. The results showed that air velocity, TED and proximity to a solid pen partition (all significant at P < 0.05) had significant predictive value and collectively explained 15.55% of the total explained deviation of 17.13%. When the presence of an adjacent pig was considered, results showed that lying next to an adjacent pig, TED, air velocity and temperature accounted for 53.9%, 1.3%, 1.5% and 0.5% of the deviation in lying patterns, respectively (all P < 0.001). Thus, CFD model outputs could potentially provide the industry with a better understanding of which environmental drivers affect pigs’ lying location choice, even before a building is built and stocked. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Pig Production)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Sustainability of Pork Production with Immunocastration in Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123335 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Immunocastration, a technique to replace surgical castration of piglets, consists of two consecutive vaccinations to induce antibodies which transiently suppress testicular functions and avoid boar taint. It is a method to ensure both a high product quality and a high level of animal [...] Read more.
Immunocastration, a technique to replace surgical castration of piglets, consists of two consecutive vaccinations to induce antibodies which transiently suppress testicular functions and avoid boar taint. It is a method to ensure both a high product quality and a high level of animal welfare. The impact of immunocastration on the three pillars of sustainability has been studied extensively. While all aspects of sustainability have been studied separately, however, a contemporary global overview of different aspects is missing. In immunocastrates, performance results are better than in barrows, but worse than in boars. The environmental impact of pork production with immunocastrates is lower than with barrows, but higher than with boars. The level of aggression is considerably lower in immunocastrates compared to boars. Societal concerns are mainly related to food safety, and are not supported by scientific evidence. After second vaccination, immunocastrates switch from a boar- to a barrow-like status. Therefore, the timing of second vaccination is a fine-tuning tool to balance advantages of boars with environmental and economic benefits against increased risk of welfare problems and boar taint. Nevertheless, both synergic and conflicting relationships between the pillars of sustainability must be communicated along the value chain to produce tailored pork products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Pig Production)
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