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Variation in maternal behaviour and production of sows in integrated loose housing systems in Norway

By K. Boe

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In studies of pig production data on 15 farms, the number of liveborn piglets per litter was somewhat lower and the losses from farrowing to weaning slightly higher in than the average of Norwegian herds. Maternal behaviour was studied on 9 of the farms. The time the sow spent with her piglets decreased with increasing age of the litter although there was a considerable variation between sows. Parity and number of piglets in the litter had no effect on this behaviour, but there was a significant difference between herds. Mothers which spent more than average amount of time with their litter were usually with their piglets from 19:00 h to 05:00 h, but spent more time outside the pen during the day-time. Intruder sows were recorded in 6.4% of the observations. It was concluded that it is possible to achieve good production results in integrated loose housing system. Some sows wean their piglets very early, but this can be avoided by locking them inside the farrowing pen for 1 or 2 nights, to re-establish the bond between the mother and her offspring.

Date 1994
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 41
Issue 1/2
Pages 53-62
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Agricultural University of Norway, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Box 5065, 1432 As, Norway.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Age
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal housing
  4. Developed countries
  5. Europe
  6. Mammals
  7. Maternal behavior
  8. Norway
  9. OECD countries
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. Production
  12. Scandinavia
  13. Swine
  14. systems
  15. variation
  1. peer-reviewed