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Oral/nasal/facial and other behaviors of sows kept individually outdoors on pasture, soil or indoors in gestation crates

By J. W. Dailey, J. J. McGlone

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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.

Date 1997
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 52
Issue 1/2
Pages 25-43
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(96)01099-4
Language English
Author Address Pork Industry Institute, Department of Animal Science and Food Technology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Crates
  7. Deviant behavior
  8. Feeding behavior
  9. Grazing
  10. Housing
  11. Mammals
  12. pastures
  13. Physical environment
  14. piggeries
  15. pig housing
  16. Pigs
  17. soil
  18. sows
  19. sties
  20. Swine