PIC Camborough-15 sows were housed either on pasture (n=8), on soil (n=8) or in gestation crates (n=16). All were fed 2.0 kg of fortified sorghum-soybean diet each day in pellet form, except half of the crated sows which were fed meal. The occurrences of standing, lying, sitting, feeding, drinking, and oral/nasal/facial manipulation of environment was recorded using a scan technique every 5 min for 24 h. Sows in each treatment group performed statistically similar frequencies of total oral/nasal/facial behaviours during the 24 h sample period. All sows rooted and chewed on the substrate available to them; pasture-kept sows chewed grass, soil-kept sows chewed rocks and soil, and crated sows chewed the bars. Frequency, duration and sequential analysis of sow behaviours for an intensive 2 h period starting 30 min after feeding were also investigated using 10 sows per treatment. While the precise substrate differed depending on availability all sows showed similar overall durations of stereotyped and non-stereotyped oral/nasal/facial behaviours. Sequential analyses showed subtle differences in oral/nasal/facial behavioural sequences. Sows engaged in repeated behaviour patterns that provide the greatest stimulation to the oral/nasal/facial region least stimulated by the available substrates within an environment. It is suggested that these stereotyped behaviours may be natural pre- and post-feeding appetitive and consummatory chewing and rooting activities modified in sequences and form by the available substrates.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Pork Industry Institute, Department of Animal Science and Food Technology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA.|
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