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Effects of confinement on social interaction patterns in dry sows

By P. Jensen

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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.

Date 1984
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 12
Issue 1/2
Pages 93-101
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Dep. of Animal Hygiene, Swedish Univ. of Agric. Sci., Box 345, S-53200 Skara, Sweden.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal housing
  3. Farms
  4. Housing
  5. Mammals
  6. Meat animals
  7. peer-reviewed
  8. sociability
  9. space
  10. stocking density
  11. stocking rates
  12. Swine
  1. peer-reviewed