October 26th, 2017
The EasyFix pig floor toy is made from high-quality natural rubber with 12 protruding rubber legs that are each 12cm in length. Only three legs are in contact with the floor at any time. The toy remains at floor level (hanging options are also available), encouraging the pig’s natural posture and behaviours. Multiple pigs can interact with the pig toy at the same time.
Currently suitable for first and second stage weaners, finishers and sows, the pig toys have been developed to provide environmental enrichment with the aim of reducing tail and ear biting.
Because the products are made from high-quality natural rubber, which is pliable, durable and provides a good bite for pigs, they will also be destroyed over time, which is an important part of the welfare requirements of this type of toy.
A study at Teagasc’s Moorepark Food Research Centre found the floor toys consistently lost weight and arm length when in use. Tests comparing the use of one or three toys in a pen found that the pigs had the same number of interactions with the floor toys regardless, but there was more wear if there was only one. No tail biting was observed in the pigs, but some ear biting was seen when there was only one toy rather than three.
The Teagasc researchers also noted that the floor toy didn’t appear to get dirty – in fact, it was so clean it couldn’t even be scored for dirtiness – and it didn’t get trapped in the feeder.
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Credit: Easyfix & Pigworld