Identifying Early Signs

Spotting and recording early warning signs is the first step towards reducing the risk of tail biting. It builds up a detailed picture of pigs’ behaviour, to start working out where the key risks that are causing it might be. 

Browse the information on early signs that can highlight that something, such as ventilation, temperature, feed supply or nutrition, is not quite right  

The majority of pigs may be able to tolerate the situation but individuals in some pens may turn to tail biting, indicating that the conditions are stressful for some pigs. A deterioration in the situation may tip the rest of the pigs into tail biting, for example, if the temperature changes further or something else happens, such as a feed outage 


Early prevention – things to look for

Make sure that everyone on the farm knows the possible early-warning signs of tail biting, such as body lesions and tails tucked under, and that they have a simple way to record any they see. If you start recording these signs over time, it’s easier to see patterns emerging, whether within particular pens or throughout a building.  

Awareness of the early cues that tail biting may be about to happen can help with early actions to reduce tail biting. Reacting at this stage can help to prevent or reduce the impact of more severe biting activity later; once tail biting is established it is harder to manage or contain. 

You can order free A3 laminated posters showing the early warning signs of tail biting, which are particularly useful to help train stockman and new starters. 

Email to request posters.