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Stocking density affects welfare indicators of growing pigs of different group sizes after regrouping

By LingLing Fu, HuiZhi Li, TingTing Liang, Bo Zhou, QingPo Chu, A. P. Schinckel, XiaoJing Yang, RuQian Zhao, PingHua Li, RuiHua Huang

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Abstract

In recent years, the concept of animal welfare began to be accepted by the Chinese people. On some intensive pig farms, the stocking density for growing pigs is too great, leading to decreased animal welfare. In order to study the relationships between stocking density and welfare indicators and determine the optimal stocking density for growing pigs, a total of 243 Landrace * Large White cross barrows were randomly regrouped at 1.6 m 2, 1.2 m 2 or 0.8 m 2 per pig at 135 days of age. Behavior percentages, lesions on the body and tail, body surface temperature (BST), manure on the body and concentrations of salivary cortisol were measured during the first 15 days after regrouping. Pigs housed at 0.8 m 2 per animal spent more time drinking (1.89 vs. 1.01%, P=0.0048) and participating in negative social behavior (0.76 vs. 0.26%, P=0.0063) than those housed at 1.6 m 2 per pig. Pigs housed at 1.2 m 2 per animal showed more positive social behaviors (1.28 vs. 0.14%, P=0.04) than those housed at 1.6 m 2. Pigs housed at 0.8 m 2 per animal had more lesions on the ears ( P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 174
Pages 42-50
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.zhoubo@njau.edu.cn 18913901843@163.com
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Breeds
  6. Costs
  7. Ear
  8. Hydrocortisone
  9. Indicators
  10. Land
  11. Lesions
  12. Livestock farming
  13. Mammals
  14. Manures
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. pig farming
  17. Pigs
  18. Social behavior
  19. stocking density
  20. Suiformes
  21. temperatures
  22. ungulates
  23. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed