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Effects of confinement duration and parity on behavioural responses and the degree of psychological fear in pregnant sows

By Ming-yue Zhang, Xiang Li, Xiao-hui Zhang, Hong-gui Liu, Jian-hong Li, Jun Bao

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of space restriction stress on the behavior of different parity sows, and it is necessary to understand such effects due to space restriction to improve the welfare of the sows in confined conditions. We selected 264 pregnant sows (Large White) at primiparity, and at first to fifth parity in a commercial farm for the same due date (3 day±1.5). Behavioural observations and the novel object test (NOT) were carried out during the stages of confinement throughout their pregnancy. The results showed that there were no significant changes (p=0.767; p=0.761; p=0.766; p=0.960; p=0.498) in standing, vacuum-chewing, bar-biting, trough-biting or rooting frequency of primiparous sows during the initial confinement (0–8days). With the increase of the confinement duration, the vacuum-chewing frequency of the sows in all of the experimental groups increased significantly (p

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 193
Pages 21-28
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2017.03.016
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Tags
  1. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  2. Confinement
  3. Gestation
  4. parity
  5. sows
  6. stimulation