Improving piglets health and well-being: A review of piglets health indicators and related sensing technologies

Ehsan Sadeghi*, Claudie Kappers, Alessandro Chiumento, Marjolein Derks, Paul Havinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing demand for providing an animal-friendly environment that ensures animal well-being and economic efficiency in animal farming leads to more advanced and efficient animal farming methods. Precision livestock farming (PLF) can simultaneously remove time-consuming tasks and extra labor for a farmer and improve animal well-being and welfare. In this review, we describe the PLF concept with a focus on recently born pigs (piglets) which require extra care and attention due to their vulnerability and sensibility. To do so, we identify the top five mortality causes in newborn piglets: low vitality, hypothermia, starvation, crushing, and hypoxia. Furthermore, the correlation and interconnections among these mortality causes are explored. Then, the most relevant health indicators (HIs), which can be early indicators of an animal issues, are also introduced. Each mortality cause can be recognised through some symptoms, which can then be used as indicators. Considering these indicators, we can improve the animals' well-being and avoid unforeseen losses. Novel sensing and communication technologies in PLF can be utilized to monitor these HIs to give an early warning to the farmer in case something is wrong. Different novel sensing and communication technologies, whether tested on animals or not, are investigated in this review to give the researcher a better idea of available technologies that can be used in PLF implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100246
JournalSmart Agricultural Technology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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