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A meta-analysis of the combined effect of housing and environmental enrichment characteristics on the behaviour and performance of pigs

By X. Averos, L. Brossard, J. Y. Dourmad, K. H. de Greef, H. L. Edge, S. A. Edwards, M. C. Meunier-Salaun

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Abstract

To quantify the combined effect of housing conditions and environmental enrichment on the behaviour and performance of pigs, a meta-analysis was performed using information from 45 experiments in 42 published manuscripts. Multiple regression models were applied to evaluate the effects of space allowance per pig (k-value; m2/BW0.667), group size (n), floor characteristics (solid, partly, or totally slatted floor), bedding (presence or absence), and the number and presentation sequence of point-source objects (no object, one object, two simultaneous objects, two alternated objects, three or more simultaneous objects or three or more alternated objects) on the general activity, enrichment and object-directed exploratory behaviour, social behaviour, and productive performance. A non-linear relationship between space allowance per pig and time spent sitting and lying was found (P<0.10 and P<0.01 for the k-value and its quadratic term respectively). Total time spent in exploration increased with space allowance per pig when bedding was present (P<0.01), and time spent exploring other pen items decreased with increasing space allowance per pig if no bedding was provided (P<0.001). Total time spent in exploration increased with group size (P<0.001). The lowest predicted total exploration time (least squares mean+or-standard error) was found in the absence of bedding and point-source objects (13+or-3

Date 2010
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 127
Issue 3/4
Pages 73-85
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.09.010
Language English
Author Address INRA, UMR1079 Systemes d'Elevage Nutrition Animale et Humaine, F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France. Xavier.Averos@rennes.inra.fr
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Tags
  1. Analysis
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal housing
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Determination
  6. Effect
  7. Enrichment
  8. Estimation
  9. Group size
  10. Mammals
  11. Meat animals
  12. models
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. Pigs
  15. productivity
  16. Social behavior
  17. Swine
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  1. peer-reviewed