Suspending ropes in pens can help reduce tail biting, according to the Danish National Committee for Pig Production.

That’s just one suggestion based on their research. The committee developed this checklist for producers to prevent tail biting in pigs.

  • Have you provided quick intervention when tail-biting outbreaks occur? It’s important to take action quickly, like removing problem pigs and injured pigs from the group. Also, make sure that you treat injured pigs and follow up with treatment quickly.
  • Check to ensure that nipple waterers are supplying the correct amount of water throughout the pen. Also, are there a sufficient number of waterers in each pen?
  • Does feed mixed on the farm segregate? Feed should remain consistent at both ends of the pipeline. Check out the color of manure throughout the pen. Also, watch to see that the pigs’ behavior is the same following each feed or premix delivery. Both provide clues to the pigs’ stress levels and behavior.
  • Does the pen design provide enough space in both the lying and dunging areas?
  • Are space requirements met, so that overcrowding is avoided? Are there enough feeding points for the number of pigs?
  • Is mixing of pigs between pens after transfer avoided?
  • Consider providing rooting and enrichment materials for the pigs. Also, ensure that the material is placed correctly, replenished and accesseible.
  • Make sure that the electrical installations throughout the facility, including the electrical panel, are equalized and grounded properly. Are the electric wirings in the housing unit equalized?
  • Make sure that the housing temperature corresponds to the pigs’ age and the facility design. Are the pigs’ resting patterns normal? Does the air in the facility have an appropriate mix of fresh, clean air? Make sure that the ventilation system is working satisfactorily. Are the pigs dunging where they are supposed to? Is the manure flushed or removed in a timely manner?