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Use of Biodegradable and soluble polymers (BioNest) for the production of enrichment material for the expression of nest-building behaviour by crated female swine

Grant number: 21/10847-7
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: July 01, 2023 - March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Matheus Saliba Monteiro
Grantee:Matheus Saliba Monteiro
CNAE: Criação de suínos
Fabricação de produtos diversos não especificados anteriormente
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Carlos
Associated researchers:Bruno Bracco Donatelli Muro ; Marcos Vinícius Batista Nicolino
Associated scholarship(s):23/07203-6 - Use of biodegradable and soluble polymers (BioNest) for the production of enrichment material for the expression of nest-building behaviour by crated female swine, BP.PIPE


The increasing demand for better animal-welfare index in livestock production makes it necessary to develop strategies that prioritize this parameter. Besides this, the products' development, must be not only economically viable, but must be ecologically correct, too. In the swine industry, there is an urgent need to develop strategies that prioritize the biological and behavioral needs of pigs, thus contributing to a more sustainable production. This becomes more evident observing the high number of young sows discarded and the high neonatal mortality. In fact, sows mortality due to dystocias represent 10% of the deaths, and pre-weaning mortality can vary from 5-20%, with 50-80% of these deaths occurring during the first week of life. In fact, farrowing is arguably the most critical phase in the production of pigs, since it has a direct effect on the survival of piglets and the sow's health. During this period, the sows must receive special attention to ensure adequate productive results. There are estimates that more than 90% of the lactating sows are still housed in farrowing crates. However, this form of accommodation restricts the expression of the instinctive nest-building behavior, resulting in a higher level of stress, which negatively affects the farrowing process and, consequently, the survival of piglets. Thus, the development of strategies that facilitate the fulfillment of the physiological and psychological needs of parturient sows housed in crates would be of great value for improving productivity and well-being in pig production. In addition to these facts, the recent recommendation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply through Normative Instruction No. 113 of December 16, 2020, which guides the need to provide enrichment material suitable for nesting behavior prior to farrowing, should be highlighted. The present proposal aims to develop a substrate for nest-building behavior composed of 100% biodegradable biopolymers (BioNest) to be supplied to parturient sows housed in farrowing crates. The substrate will be developed from an incremental approach, in which the properties-requirements will be estimated, which take into account from the substrate processing, storage and transportation, performance in service, until its disposal. From the requirements, sample compositions will be manufactured, which will be continuously tested and improved, in order to form the final concept of the product, and consequently prototypes for pilot tests. It is expected that the completion of the project will accelerate and promote the evolution of the formulated concept (TRL 2) until the demonstration of the prototype model in a relevant environment (TRL 6). It is also expected that the demonstration will prepare the research team for application in the operational environment, industrialization and commercialization (TRL 7 to 9), to be developed in potential phase 2 of the PIPE FAPESP Project. (AU)

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