Studies were carried out in 3 different herds, representing 3 different housing systems. In the first system (de-confinement), the animals were housed in groups of 5, with individual feeding stalls, a common dunging area and a common lying box (net floor area, 3.04 msuperscript 2/sow), in the second (semi-confinement), they were housed in groups of 4, with individual combined feeding and lying stalls, and a common dunging area (net floor area, 2.27 msuperscript 2/sow), and in the third (confinement), they were confined in individual stalls (floor area 1.40 msuperscript 2/sow). Four groups were studied in de-confinement, 3 in semi-confinement and 3 in confinement. Confinement decreased the social activity, measured as number of observed interactions per time unit, and led to unsettled dominance relationships combined with high aggression levels. The semi-confinement system did not provide sufficient space for a stable social system. The frequencies of aggressive behaviours were highest in semi-confinement, but since some relationships could be settled, and a certain amount of submissive behaviour was noted, the aggression level was probably lower than in confinement. The de-confinement system provided enough area for the sows to settle dominance relationships and to keep the aggression level fairly low.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Dep. of Animal Hygiene, Swedish Univ. of Agric. Sci., Box 345, S-53200 Skara, Sweden.|
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