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The influence of different feeding arrangements and food type on competition at feeding in pregnant sows

By I. L. Andersen, K. E. Boe, A. L. Kristiansen

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Abstract

The effects of different feeding arrangements (body, shoulder and no partitions between sows) and type of food (wet vs. dry) on aggressive competition at feeding were investigated. Six groups of six pregnant sows were subjected to all the six treatments, and the order of treatments were rotated systematically. In the last 2 days of each treatment period (lasting for 9 days in total), the behaviour of the sows was video recorded for 60 min from the start of feeding. Aggressive behaviours (bite towards head/shoulder and body, bite towards vulva, push, threat, head knock), frequency of changing position at the trough (displacements and voluntary changes of position) and the time at trough were recorded. In the analysis, the observation period was divided into feeding (0-15) and post feeding (45-60 min). On dry feeding, increasing length of partitions resulted in a significant reduction in the number of bites, total aggressive behaviours and displacements at the trough and an increased time at trough. The number of bites and total aggressive behaviours were lower on wet than on dry feeding in the simple feeding arrangements (shoulder or no partitions), but there were no significant differences when body partitions were used. On wet feeding, there were no significant differences between body and shoulder partitions concerning the number of bites, nor were there any significant differences between feeding arrangements concerning the time at trough or the number of displacements at trough when wet food was used. The top ranked sows received less bites and displacements and spent more time at trough than the other sows in all feeding arrangements, whereas the lower ranked sows were less subject to aggression and displacement and spent more time at the trough as the length of partitions increased. It is concluded that a feeding arrangement with body partitions resulted in the least aggression and displacement at the trough compared with shoulder or no partitions. On wet feeding, however, the amount of aggression did not differ between shoulder and body partitions, and the time at the trough appeared to be almost equal in all feeding arrangements.

Date 1999
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 65
Issue 2
Pages 91-104
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00058-1
Language English
Author Address Agricultural University of Norway, Department of Agricultural Engineering, P.O. Box 5065, 1432 As, Norway.
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Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal experimentation
  4. Animal housing
  5. Animal injuries
  6. Animal nutrition
  7. Animal research
  8. Animal rights
  9. Animal welfare
  10. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  11. Bites and stings
  12. Feeding
  13. Feed intake
  14. Feeds
  15. Mammals
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Pigs
  18. sows
  19. Swine
  20. troughs
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  1. peer-reviewed