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Effects of prepartum housing environment on abnormal behaviour, the farrowing process, and interactions with circulating oxytocin in sows

By JinHyeon Yun, K. M. Swan, C. Oliviero, O. Peltoniemi, A. Valros

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Abstract

We evaluated the effects on sows of prepartum housing environment on bar-biting (BB) behaviour prior to parturition, farrowing duration from first to tenth piglets, litter size, and circulating oxytocin (OT) concentrations during birth of the first five piglets. A total of 35 sows, approximately seven days before the expected parturition date, were housed in: (1) CRATE ( N=11): the farrowing crate closed (210*80 cm), with provision of a bucketful of sawdust, (2) PEN ( N=12): the farrowing crate opened, with provision of a bucketful of sawdust, and (3) NEST ( N=12): the farrowing crate opened, with provision of abundant nesting materials. All sows were crated without additional supply of nesting materials when parturition started. Plasma samples from farrowing sows were collected via an indwelling catheter at 0, 2, and 4 min, after delivery of each of the first five piglets to assess circulating OT concentrations. Prepartum BB behaviour was observed in sows for a 20 min period each hour, from 18 h prior to parturition to the birth of the first piglet. Farrowing intervals were monitored between birth of the first and fifth piglet, and duration was recorded until the tenth piglet was born. Prepartum sows in CRATE showed higher frequency and tendency for increased total duration in BB behaviour than in PEN or in NEST ( P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 162
Pages 20-25
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
Language English
Author Address Research Centre for Animal Welfare, Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, PO Box 57, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.jinhyeon.yun@helsinki.fi pilot9939@gmail.com
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Tags
  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal genetics
  4. Animal housing
  5. Animal physiology
  6. Animal reproduction
  7. Animals
  8. Animal welfare
  9. Birth
  10. Blood
  11. Effect
  12. Farrowing
  13. Fetus
  14. Interactions
  15. Litters
  16. Mammals
  17. Meat animals
  18. nesting
  19. Oxytocin
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. Pigs
  22. sows
  23. stillbirths
  24. Suiformes
  25. ungulates
  26. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed