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  1. Using automated image analysis in pig behavioural research: Assessment of the influence of enrichment substrate provision on lying behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Nasirahmadi, Abozar, Edwards, Sandra A., Matheson, Stephanie M., Sturm, Barbara

    Visual monitoring of pig behaviours over long periods is very time consuming and has possibility for observer bias. Automated image processing techniques now give the potential to carry out behavioural research in a more effective way. To illustrate this, an image processing technique was applied...

  2. Hiding walls for fattening pigs: Do they affect behavior and performance?

    Contributor(s):: Bulens, Anneleen, Van Beirendonck, Sanne, Van Thielen, Jos, Buys, Nadine, Driessen, Bert

    The prevalence of harmful and unwanted behavior in fattening pigs is influenced by different factors including housing. Housing may include the opportunity to hide from aggressive pen mates and this ability is related to pen design and shape. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of...

  3. Influence of enrichment material and herbal compounds in the behaviour and performance of growing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Casal-Plana, Nicolau, Manteca, Xavier, Dalmau, Antoni, Fàbrega, Emma

    Pigs reared in barren conditions are exposed to many different stressors, compromising their welfare and producing physiological and behavioural changes. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of environmental enrichment (EE) consisting of natural hemp ropes, sawdust, rubber balls, and a...

  4. Gangs of piglets: Welfare and growth of imprinted and guided weaners

    Contributor(s):: Mesarec, Nikolina, Povše, Maja Prevolnik, Škorjanc, Dejan, Skok, Janko

    Weaning stress accompanied by outburst of aggression is a critical point in pig production as it compromises piglets’ welfare and leads to poor growth rate and health problems. Therefore, a weaning methods to smoothen the lactation–weaning transition are of great importance. In the present study...

  5. The backtest in pigs revisited—Inter-situational behaviour and animal classification

    Contributor(s):: Zebunke, Manuela, Nürnberg, Gerd, Melzer, Nina, Puppe, Birger

    Since the introduction of the backtest for the early detection of coping strategies in piglets by Hessing in the 1990s, this behavioural test has been intensively investigated with ambiguous results. One possible explanation for this lack of consistency might be the different classification...

  6. Gradual weaning during an extended lactation period improves performance and behavior of pigs raised in a multi-suckling system

    Contributor(s):: van Nieuwamerongen, S. E., Soede, N. M., van der Peet-Schwering, C. M. C., Kemp, B., Bolhuis, J. E.

    We studied effects of two weaning procedures on the development of pigs raised in a multi-suckling (MS) system with five sows and their litters. One MS group was subjected to a gradual weaning treatment during a lactation period of 9 wk, which included forced intermittent-suckling (IS) for 10h/d...

  7. Reprint of “Rearing piglets in multi-litter group lactation systems: Effects on piglet aggression and injuries post-weaning”

    Contributor(s):: Verdon, Megan, Morrison, Rebecca S., Hemsworth, Paul H.

    This experiment investigated the effects of rearing piglets in a multi-litter lactation system on piglet aggression at weaning. The following four pre-weaning treatments were applied to 72 sows and their litters (n=642 piglets); (1) Farrowing crate (‘FC’ − n=24 sows), (2) PigSAFE pens, in which...

  8. Emotional states and emotional contagion in pigs after exposure to a positive and negative treatment

    Contributor(s):: Reimert, Inonge, Fong, Stephanie, Rodenburg, T. Bas, Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth

    After-effects of events that elicit an emotional state on both the animals that experienced these events and on their group members have only scarcely been studied. We investigated effects of a positive vs. negative treatment on the behaviour and emotional state of pigs and their naive pen mates...

  9. Aggressive behaviour at regrouping is a poor predictor of chronic aggression in stable social groups

    Contributor(s):: Turner, Simon P., Nevison, Ian M., Desire, Suzanne, Camerlink, Irene, Roehe, Rainer, Ison, Sarah H., Farish, Marianne, Jack, Mhairi C., D’Eath, Richard B.

    Commercial pigs globally are routinely mixed into new social groups. This results in regrouping aggression predominantly during the first 24h which compromises welfare and productivity. Chronic aggression persists thereafter and is also undesirable. Management strategies are needed that reduce...

  10. Female and male pigs’ performance in a spatial holeboard and judgment bias task

    Contributor(s):: Roelofs, Sanne, Nordquist, Rebecca E., van der Staay, Franz Josef

    Studies of the cognitive abilities of pigs are increasing in number, due to their relevance for the fields of animal welfare and biomedical research. While both female and male pigs have been used in cognitive tasks, possible sex differences in performance have not yet received extensive...

  11. Associations between the dominance status and sexual development, skin lesions or feeding behaviour of intact male pigs

    Contributor(s):: Parois, Severine, Larzul, Catherine, Prunier, Armelle

    In boars, social relationships could influence pubertal development and feeding behaviour. The objectives of the present study were to determine the relationships between behaviour (agonistic, mounting and feeding behaviours), plasma sex steroids (oestradiol, testosterone) and fat androstenone. A...

  12. Farmers’ perception of aggression between growing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Camerlink, Irene, Turner, Simon P.

    Sustainable animal production should take animal welfare into account. How animal welfare is incorporated into farming practices will, however, largely depend on the farmer’s choices. These choices may depend on the farmer’s perception of animal welfare and the willingness to change the current...

  13. Housing conditions do not alter cognitive bias but affect serum cortisol, qualitative behaviour assessment and wounds on the carcass in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Carreras, Ricard, Mainau, Eva, Arroyo, Laura, Moles, Xènia, González, Joel, Bassols, Anna, Dalmau, Antoni, Faucitano, Luigi, Manteca, Xavier, Velarde, Antonio

    Measures of animal emotions are essential to assess animal welfare. Recently, the cognitive bias technique has been proposed as a measure of animal affective state. This technique is based on the premise that subjects in negative affective states make more negative judgements about ambiguous...

  14. Can tail-in-mouth behaviour in weaned piglets be predicted by behaviour and performance?

    Contributor(s):: Munsterhjelm, Camilla, Heinonen, Mari, Valros, Anna

    This study aimed to identify characteristics of pigs performing tail-in-mouth behaviour (TIM; P, n=34), their recipients (R, n=23) and neutral penmates (N, n=31) at two occasions, the first being at weaning (4 weeks of age) before TIM was observed in the pen and the second being at 9 weeks of age...

  15. Effects of different enrichment devices on some welfare indicators of post-weaned undocked piglets

    Contributor(s):: Nannoni, E., Sardi, L., Vitali, M., Trevisi, E., Ferrari, A., Barone, F., Bacci, M. L., Barbieri, S., Martelli, G.

    Two experimental trials were carried out in order to test the effectiveness of different environmental enrichments in improving the welfare of weaned pigs. A total of 120 undocked piglets was used. In trial one, group C1 received a metal chain and group WL a wooden log mounted on a frame. In...

  16. Emotions after victory or defeat assessed through qualitative behavioural assessment, skin lesions and blood parameters in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Camerlink, Irene, Peijnenburg, Mieke, Wemelsfelder, Françoise, Turner, Simon P.

    Aggression between pigs causes injuries and production losses and is a long standing animal welfare issue. Although the physiological impact of aggression has been well described, little is known about the emotional experience of aggressive interactions. Our aim was to investigate the emotional...

  17. Testing post-weaning food motivation in low and normal birth weight pigs in a runway and operant conditioning task

    Contributor(s):: van Eck, L. M., Antonides, A., Nordquist, R. E., van der Staay, F. J.

    Low birth weight (LBW) pigs face more welfare challenges than their normal birth weight (NBW) siblings. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of cognitive and learning abilities in these pigs may help to improve their welfare. Early competition in life over resources, combined with the higher...

  18. Rearing piglets in multi-litter group lactation systems: Effects on piglet aggression and injuries post-weaning

    Contributor(s):: Verdon, Megan, Morrison, Rebecca S., Hemsworth, Paul H.

    This experiment investigated the effects of rearing piglets in a multi-litter lactation system on piglet aggression at weaning. The following four pre-weaning treatments were applied to 72 sows and their litters (n=642 piglets); (1) Farrowing crate (‘FC’ − n=24 sows), (2) PigSAFE pens, in which...

  19. Day-night behaviour and performance of barrows and gilts (70–100kg) fed low protein diets with different levels of tryptophan and B6 vitamin

    Contributor(s):: Castilha, Leandro Dalcin, Sangali, Cleiton Pagliari, Esteves, Lucas Antonio Costa, Muniz, Camila Francisca, Furlan, Antonio Claudio, Vasconcellos, Ricardo Souza, Pozza, Paulo Cesar

    Tryptophan (Trp) is involved in regulation of animal behaviour, since it originates serotonin and melatonin, especially in low crude protein diets, and Trp metabolism requires B6 vitamin (B6) as enzymatic cofactor. The objective of this study was to feed low protein diets with different levels of...

  20. Does litter size affect emotionality, spatial learning and memory in piglets?

    Contributor(s):: Fijn, Lisa, Antonides, Alexandra, Aalderink, Dave, Nordquist, Rebecca E., van der Staay, Franz Josef

    Average litter size has steadily increased over the past decades in the pig farming industry. Large litters are associated with an increase of piglets born with a lower birth weight and reduced overall piglet viability. The aim of our study was to investigate whether litter size affects...