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Stereotypies, aggression and the feeding schedules of tethered sows

By J. P. Rushen

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Thirty, adult, pregnant, tethered sows were observed for 5 min every 0.5 h for 9 h spanning the 2 feeding periods. Activity, consisting largely of food-searching behaviour and drinking, was largely restricted to two 2-h periods following each feed. Three categories of stereotyped behaviour were observed and these were closely linked to the feeding periods. Short-duration bouts of rubbing, head-waving and bar-biting occurred during food delivery, while long-duration bouts of highly stereotyped and idiosyncratic sequences of rubbing and drinking were shown by older sows immediately after feeding. Vaccuum chewing tended to occur slightly later. It is suggested that frustration of feeding motivation rather than under-stimulation underlies stereotypies in pigs, and that the different forms may represent stereotype of the appetitive and consummatory phases. Aggression was rare and was not closely related to the feeding periods or to stereotypies.

Date 1985
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 14
Issue 2
Pages 137-147
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Animal Behaviour Unit, Psychology Dep., Univ. Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal nutrition
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Feeding behavior
  6. Housing
  7. Mammals
  8. stereotypes
  9. Swine
  10. tethering