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The effect of type of rooting material and space allowance on exploration and abnormal behaviour in growing pigs

By M. B. Jensen, M. Studnitz, L. J. Pedersen

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Abstract

The experiment aimed to investigate the effect of type of rooting material and space allowance on explorative and abnormal behaviour in growing pigs. Thirty-six pens with partly slatted concrete floor were allocated to one of four treatments: (1) low space allowance and maize silage as rooting material, (2) high space allowance and maize silage as rooting material, (3) low space allowance and straw as rooting material, and (4) high space allowance and straw as rooting material. Pens with low space allowance had 17 pigs (0.64 m2/pig), while pens with high space allowance had 11 pigs (1.0 m2/pig). Behaviour was recorded by instantaneous sampling during 1 h before and 1 h after the daily allocation of rooting material at 10.00 h, as well as during 1 h in the afternoon starting at 13.00 h. Observations were conducted at 13 and 20 weeks of age. Pigs offered maize silage manipulated rooting material more (23% vs. 19% of the pigs; P0.001) and manipulated pen components less (3.3% vs. 4.5% of pigs; P0.01) than pigs offered straw. Pigs housed at a high space allowance manipulated rooting material more (22% vs. 19% of pigs; P0.05) than pigs at a low space allowance. At 13 weeks of age, pigs manipulated rooting material more (23% vs. 18% of pigs; P0.001), pen components more (4.8% vs. 3.1% of pigs; P0.01) and pen mates less (2.2% vs. 3.0% of the pigs; P0.05) than at 20 weeks of age. Manipulation of rooting material was lower before the daily allocation of rooting material than after (15

Date 2010
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 123
Issue 3/4
Pages 87-92
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Health and Bioscience, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus, Blichers Alle 20, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.MargitBak.Jensen@agrsci.dk
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Tags
  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Abnormal development
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Corn
  7. Deviant behavior
  8. Enrichment
  9. Field crops
  10. Grasses
  11. Maize
  12. Mammals
  13. Meat animals
  14. pens
  15. Plants
  16. Straw
  17. Swine