Development of recommendations for the effective claw trimming in sows

Last changed: 25 October 2023

Problems with claw lesions and lameness are very common in sows and are the primary reason for euthanasia and the second most important reason for involuntary culling, especially among young sows. Economic losses linked to lameness usually include extra labour, additional veterinary costs, and cost of euthanasia on farms, higher risk for total or partial condemnation resulting in less slaughter revenue and to a negative impact on reproduction.

The aim of the project is to measure force and pressure distribution on sow claws with different degree of claw trimming and on different surfaces, as well as assess the relationship between claw conformation, anatomical parameters of claw inner structures and biomechanical characteristics. The biomechanics of sow claws in relation to claw trimming and flooring will be studied using a laboratory ex-vivo model in the form of an anatomical rig and prepared slaughter sow feet. The model simulates ligament and muscle action as well as leg posture and therefore can imitate all possible bone positions in live animals. In order to assess potential risks for claw lesions force and pressure distribution will be studied in claws of different length and shape as well as on different floorings solid and slatted as well as soft and hard (rubber mats, concrete). After the biomechanical measurements, anatomical measurements of the inner structures of the claws (including dew claws) will be performed from the claws’ sagittal cuts. The project should result in developing of practical and scientific recommendations for effective claw trimming of the sows in connection with optimal choice of flooring for better animal welfare and functioning in the modern production system.


The project is funded by: Svenska Köttföretagen AB

Duration of the project: 2019-2020

Project Leader: Anne-Charlotte Olsson

Other contributors: Evgenij Telezhenko