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Table 4 Perceived importance to 58 Irish farrow-to-finish pig farms of the different preventive measures suggested in the survey to combat biting behaviour in growing pigs

From: Irish pig farmer’s perceptions and experiences of tail and ear biting

CategoryMean ± standard deviation (average score of category)Median (interquartile range*)
Taking care of animal health6.35 ± 1.62a7 (6)
Restricting animal density6.26 ± 1.767 (1)
Even quality of feed6.25 ± 1.837 (2)
Correct feed content6.18 ± 1.877 (4)
Managing air movements (draughts, cold air pockets-e.g when slurry is low)6.16 ± 1.867 (0)
Managing air quality6.04 ± 1.697 (1)
Appropriate temperature in pen (not too hot or cold)5.89 ± 2.007 (0)
Maintaining enough feeding space (enough space for each pig at the trough)5.88 ± 1.967 (4)
Water available to all pigs5.77 ± 2.047 (6)
Good quality pigs (healthy, evenly grown)5.12 ± 2.35b7 (2)
Use of objects for manipulation4.74 ± 2.32b5 (2)
Managing pen hygiene/cleanliness4.39 ± 2.68b5 (4)
Avoiding mixing of animals4.00 ± 2.61b3 (0)
Knowing the background of the piglet (housing and management in the farrowing unit)3.56 ± 2.60b3 (0)
Adequate light levels3.28 ± 2.37b3 (3)
Adjusting natural light from windows3.26 ± 2.32b3 (3)
Breed of pigs3.02 ± 2.73b2 (4)
Use of bedding type material2.49 ± 2.48b1 (6)
Feeding always at the same time1.82 ± 2.72b1 (0)
Managing noise level1.70 ± 1.56b1 (5)
  1. Different letters (a, b) indicate P < 0.01 based on pair-wise comparisons
  2. *Score 1-not important-7 very important