In an historical period in which the use of multimedia tools for learning, dissemination, exchange of information and maintenance of working relationships has become indispensable, this project aims to develop a multimedia platform “Knowledge Exchange Platform – KEP” as an innovative tool for the exchange of knowledge and learning in the context of Animal and Food Science.

Maria Costanza Galli

Improve the welfare of gestating sows

Which of the two images represents a more comfortable environment for sows?

Nowadays, almost all countries in the world rear sows in the way you see on the left, restraining their movement and preventing the manifestation of their natural behaviour.

But why sows are kept in cages? The first weeks after conception are the most critical for sows and thus they are prevented from hierarchical fights which cause abortion and injuries. However, physical confinent might decrease sows welfare as well.

Therefor, Maria is trying to understand whether the cage-free rearing of sows might have an impact on their welfare and reproduction, through the evaluation of reproductive performance, injuries, body condition and cortisol levels.

Giulio Pillan

Developing cage-free systems for laying hens

Nowadays, cage farming is under the lens of public opinion and cages are no long accepted as farming system.

Thus, cage-free systems for laying hens are being studied and developed, representing a valuable substitute that allow hens to express their natural behaviour

However, cage-free system show technical issues like the difficult control of the animals by the farmer, the uneven distribution of animals, often leading to mortality, and the incorrect use of the nest

The purpose of Giulio’s project is to provide solutions to solve current issues in cage-free system for laying hens. As a firs step, Giulio identified the major critical points in such systems. Then, trials are now being carried out focusing on how the animals are using different rearing equipments such as perches and nest materials, evaluating also animal performance, behaviour and egg quality