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In the EU the vast majority of female breeding pigs are confined in farrowing crates for around 35 days around the period that they give birth (usually from around 1 week beforehand to 4 weeks afterwards). This practice is clearly harmful to the mother pig's welfare since she can only lie down and stand up. Crating is claimed to reduce piglet mortality rates due to the mother pig being less likely to crush her piglets. 

One alternative system to farrowing crates is temporary crating where the mother pig is only confined in the crate for around 1 week and another is zero-confinement pens where the sow is free to move within the pen (examples of these systems are shown at the bottom of this post). The research in this area is very mixed but generally a shorter period of confinement is associated with higher piglet mortality rates. 

Piglets are most often crushed when they are 0-5 days old and it usually takes roughly 0-4 minutes for a piglet to suffocate when being crushed. With the "End the Cage Age" initiative there is now significant momentum towards banning farrowing crates. However, in order to make a judgement about whether zero-confinement pens or temporary crates are the optimal alternative for welfare, a judgement must be made on how to trade off sow confinement against piglets being crushed. 

I want to test my own intuitions about this so what is the maximum number of days of mother pig confinement that would you be willing to trade in order to save one piglet from being crushed? I would find any answers helpful as data points (even if you have only spent a few seconds thinking about it)

Answer here or in the comments if you prefer: https://www.supersurvey.com/QQV89YYI0 


Farrowing crate: https://www.ciwf.com/media/1167620/Sow-standing-in-farrowing-crate.jpg?center=0.46175989508628845,0.37496721744537354&mode=crop&width=730&height=275&rnd=130851689570000000

Temporary crate: https://www.freefarrowing.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/360-open-resized-1024x680.png 

Zero-confinement farrowing pen: https://www.pig-world.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/PigSAFE-lactation.jpg 




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Hmmmmmm, around 10 days is my best current guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if it should be more like 100 days, I assume crushing involves extreme pain which crating doesn't and so it wouldn't be outrageous to me if it ended up being more like that.

2-3 days. I'm thinking "how long would I be willing to be in such a crate to avoid being quickly crushed to death" ... assuming I had a 0 value on my subsequent life.

(By the way don't you want an interface to set up a poll to aggregate our responses easily?)

Thanks for the response. I've now set up a poll and added a link to the post, not sure why I didn't think to do this in the first place

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