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  1. Does group size have an impact on welfare indicators in fattening pigs?

    Contributor(s):: Meyer-Hamme, S. E. K., Lambertz, C., Gauly, M.

    Production systems for fattening pigs have been characterized over the last 2 decades by rising farm sizes coupled with increasing group sizes. These developments resulted in a serious public discussion regarding animal welfare and health in these intensive production systems. Even though large...

  2. Reduced locomotor play behaviour of dairy calves following separation from the mother reflects their response to reduced energy intake

    Contributor(s):: Rushen, J., Wright, R., Johnsen, J. F., Mejdell, C. M., Passille, A. M. de

    Play behaviour is an indicator of good welfare in young calves and is reduced by low energy intake and weaning off milk. There is renewed interest in keeping calves longer with the cow but separation leads to signs of distress, such as vocalizations. Providing calves with an alternative milk...

  3. Associations between milk intake and activity in the first days of a calf's life and later growth and health

    Contributor(s):: Passille, A. M. de, Rabeyrin, M., Rushen, J.

    We examined whether calves' milk intake and activity in the days after birth predict later growth and the risk of illness. Female Holstein calves ( n=130) were housed in individual pens where they were allowed ad libitum milk from birth to 5 days of age. Daily milk intakes were recorded and...

  4. Management and design of hospital pens relative to behavior of the compromised dairy cow: a questionnaire survey of Iowa dairy farms

    Contributor(s):: Fogsgaard, K. K., Herskin, M. S., Gorden, P. J., Timms, L. L., Shearer, J. K., Millman, S. T.

    Compromised dairy cows, such as those suffering from illness or injury, are likely to have different behavioral priorities and needs compared to healthy cows. Although hospital pens are typically required in animal welfare standards and assessment programs, there is surprisingly little...

  5. Observations of sows and piglets housed in farrowing pens with temporary crating or farrowing crates on a commercial farm

    Contributor(s):: Chidgey, K. L., Morel, P. C. H., Stafford, K. J., Barugh, I. W.

    Alternatives to farrowing crates have been developed to improve sow welfare. These alternative farrowing systems have been designed to provide more space, allowing sows greater freedom of movement during lactation. This experiment was part of a larger study comparing sow and piglet performance...

  6. Long-term effects of straw blocks in pens with finishing pigs and the interaction with boar type

    Contributor(s):: Bulens, A., Beirendonck, S. van, Thielen, J. van, Buys, N., Driessen, B.

    This study verified the effect of straw blocks on the behavior and growth of finishing pigs and possible interactions with the genetic background (boar type). A total of 359 finishing pigs, which were offspring from different boar types, were housed in gender-mixed pens with slatted floors. Half...

  7. Assessing walking posture with geometric morphometrics: effects of rearing environment in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Tallet, C., Seneque, E., Megnin, C., Morisset, S., Val-Laillet, D., Meunier-Salaun, M. C., Fureix, C., Hausberger, M.

    Rearing social animals like pigs in isolation from conspecifics can have consequences on behaviour and physiology. The aim of this experiment was to determine whether rearing conditions affect body posture. We adapted a method for quantitative evaluation of posture based on geometric...

  8. Availability and use of designated hospital pens in Danish dairy herds

    Contributor(s):: Houe, H., Thomsen, P. T., Amdi, C., Herskin, M. S., Forkman, B., Jensen, M. B.

    The objective of this study was to describe the availability and use of designated hospital pens in Danish dairy herds and to analyse the association between availability and use of hospital pens and the herd-level incidence of reported disease treatments. Hospital pens were divided into either...

  9. Degree of synchrony based on individual observations underlines the importance of concurrent access to enrichment materials in finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Zwicker, B., Weber, R., Wechsler, B., Gygax, L.

    Pigs are sociable animals with a strong motivation to explore and forage, and it has been stated that they have a strong motivation to do so synchronously. We examined the synchrony of exploration in groups of finishing pigs when enrichment materials were offered. We used a novel measure of...

  10. Effect of increasing amounts of straw on pigs' explorative behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Jensen, M. B., Herskin, M. S., Forkman, B., Pedersen, L. J.

    According to European legislation, pigs must have permanent access to sufficient quantity of material to enable manipulation activities. However, few studies have quantified how much straw is needed to fulfil the requirements of growing pigs. We investigated the effect of increasing amount of...

  11. Hunger in pregnant sows: effects of a fibrous diet and free access to straw

    Contributor(s):: Jensen, M. B., Pedersen, L. J., Theil, P. K., Knudsen, K. E. B.

    Fibrous diets and the provision of straw have been suggested to reduce feeding motivation in pregnant sows. The present experiment investigated the separate and interactive effects of a fibrous diet and ad libitum access to straw on feeding motivation, oral behaviour and plasma levels of...

  12. Agonistic behaviour, skin lesions and activity pattern of entire male, female and castrated male finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Bunger, B., Schrader, L., Schrade, H., Zacharias, B.

    Fattening of intact boars is the least invasive alternative to the detrimental welfare effects of surgical castration of piglets. However, beside problems such as boar taint the divergent agonistic and sexual behaviour of boars may impair the pigs' welfare during fattening. To evaluate the effect...

  13. Effects of variation in nest curtain design on pre-laying behaviour of domestic hens

    Contributor(s):: Ringgenberg, N., Frohlich, E. K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Toscano, M. J., Wurbel, H., Roth, B. A.

    Laying hens in loose-housing systems select a nest daily in which to lay their eggs among many identical looking nests, they often prefer corner nests. We investigated whether heterogeneity in nest curtain appearance - via colours and symbols - would influence nest selection and result in an even...

  14. Behaviour of pre-pubertal gilts and its relationship to farrowing behaviour in conventional farrowing crates and loose-housed pens

    Contributor(s):: Ison, S. H., Wood, C. M., Baxter, E. M.

    Individual variation in the reproductive performance of sows has the potential for greater negative impacts in loose-farrowing systems. Therefore, the ability to select gilts that will perform well would be a major advantage. This study investigated the behaviour of gilts during pre-pubertal...

  15. Transport of horses for slaughter in Iceland

    Contributor(s):: Roy, R. C., Cockram, M. S., Dohoo, I. R., Ragnarsson, S.

    There is interest in the transportation of horses ( Equus caballus) to slaughter and a need to assess the welfare implications of this practice. Forty-six loads of 7-35 horses transported for 0.33 to 3.10 h to a slaughter plant in Iceland were studied. Adults and foals were transported together...

  16. Dairy calves' preference for rearing substrate

    Contributor(s):: Worth, G. M., Schutz, K. E., Stewart, M., Cave, V. M., Foster, M., Sutherland, M. A.

    Traditional substrate types for dairy calves, such as sawdust, are becoming difficult and/or expensive for farmers to obtain in New Zealand. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate alternative rearing substrates that provide an acceptable level of animal welfare. The preference of dairy calves for...

  17. Diurnal rhythms, locations and behavioural sequences associated with eliminative behaviours in fattening pigs

    Contributor(s):: Guo, YuGuang, Lian, XinMing, Yan, PeiShi

    Understanding eliminative behaviours in pigs is very important to maintain individual and pen cleanliness. In this experiment, twenty fattening pigs were housed in four concrete floor pens with a floor space of 3.25 m 2 per pig and free accessibility of outdoor runs. We studied the diurnal...

  18. Network characteristics and development of social structure of agonistic behaviour in pigs across three repeated rehousing and mixing events

    Contributor(s):: Buttner, K., Scheffler, K., Czycholl, I., Krieter, J.

    In commercial pig production, the mixing of unacquainted pigs is a standard procedure which leads to agonistic interactions with a wide range of individual pig behaviour. A reduction in these agonistic interactions positively affects animal health, welfare aspects and production parameters. With...

  19. Straw applications in growing pigs: effects on behavior, straw use and growth

    Contributor(s):: Bulens, A., Beirendonck, S. van, Thielen, J. van, Buys, N., Driessen, B.

    The short-term effects of four straw applications on pigs housed on slatted floors were investigated to determine differences in behavior, straw use and growth. Both the type of straw used and the design of the application might influence the attractiveness and effectiveness of the applications....

  20. Application of the Welfare Quality animal welfare assessment system in Finnish pig production, Part II: Associations between animal-based and environmental measures of welfare

    Contributor(s):: Munsterhjelm, C., Heinonen, M., Valros, A.

    This study aimed to establish associations between the environment and animal-based measures of welfare collected on 158 Finnish farms according to the Welfare Quality systems for pigs. The data consisted of 95 welfare assessments in fattening pigs and 103 in sows, including suckling piglets....