Pigs with hernias

In Ø-Vet, we make a big effort to send as many pigs as possible to slaughter – this is also the case with pigs with hernias. We therefore issue hernia certificates for slaughter-ready pigs on a daily basis.

Transport of pigs with hernias

Hernia below 15 cm:

The pig is fit for transport if it is thrifty, walks normally and does not have wounds or is warm and tender.

Hernias over 15 cm:

The pig is fit for transport if it fulfils the same points as above – but with special transportation measures:

  • You can transport 1 pig in an enclosure on its own with extra space and bedding material


  • You can transport up to 5 pigs together in an enclosure with extra space and bedding material if a veterinarian has issued a hernia certificate within the past 7 days.


Pigs with hernias without wounds and below 15 cm can be delivered without a certificate, but it can be difficult to assess the size of the hernia purely by eye.

Here you can use a clean, blue jam bucket for measuring: if the hernia sac fits into the bucket, the pig can be delivered without a certificate

Housing of pigs with hernia

With correct housing, you increase the likelihood that your pigs with hernia make it to slaughter. In Ø-Vet, we have examined various hernia pens and the pigs’ condition during the housing period.

  • In pens without special housing for hernia pigs, an improved condition was seen on 39% of the pigs
  • In pens with straw as deep litter and restrictive feeding with approx. 1-1.5 kg feed per day, an improvement was seen in the size of the hernia sac plus wound on 74% of the animals.
  • In pens with fine shavings as litter with strewing as needed, there was an improved condition on 61% of the animals.

Contact your Ø-Vet veterinarian if you wish to know more about how to get your hernia pigs all the way to slaughter.

You can also read about design of hospital pens at SEGES:  www.svineproduktion.dk


Example of pig in the experiment:

Wound on the hernia sac day 0

Status of the wound 6 days later

Healed wound on hernia sac day 28

If you have questions concerning handling and prevention of pigs with umbilical hernia, then please ask us when we meet on the farm.