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Rooting area and drinker affect dunging behaviour of organic pigs

By H. M. Vermeer, H. Altena, P. F. G. Vereijken, M. B. M. Bracke

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Abstract

Hygiene is a common problem on outdoor runs of growing organic pigs. Manure and urine are mainly excreted outdoors and tend to spread all over the run. Reducing the soiled surface area may be beneficial to animal welfare, hygiene, ammonia emissions and labour, not only in organic but also in conventional systems. The objective was to reduce the soiled surface area in the pen and to make the outdoor run more attractive for pigs. Introduction of a rooting area and drinker in the outdoor run was tested in a 2*2 factorial design. In total, four replicates were studied in a room with two rows of four pens containing 14 pigs each. More pigs went outdoors in pens with rooting area access than in pens without a rooting area (11.2 vs. 8.5%, P=0.003). This was due to more pigs entering the rooting area and an adjacent slatted floor. Addition of a drinker did not attract more pigs outdoors ( P=0.53). The rooting area improved the cleanliness of the whole pen ( P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 165
Pages 66-71
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Wageningen UR Livestock Research, Wageningen, Netherlands.herman.vermeer@wur.nl
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Tags
  1. Ammonia
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Fouling
  6. Hygiene
  7. Mammals
  8. Manures
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. pens
  11. Pigs
  12. Suiformes
  13. ungulates
  14. urine
  15. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed