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  1. Are observer ratings influenced by prescription? A comparison of Free Choice Profiling and Fixed List methods of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment

    Contributor(s):: Clarke, T., Pluske, J. R., Fleming, P. A.

    Qualitative methods of behavioural assessment use observer rating scales to score the overall demeanour or body language of animals. Establishing the reliability of such holistic approaches requires test and validation of the methods used. Here, we compare two methodologies used in Qualitative...

  2. Observations of sows and piglets housed in farrowing pens with temporary crating or farrowing crates on a commercial farm

    Contributor(s):: Chidgey, K. L., Morel, P. C. H., Stafford, K. J., Barugh, I. W.

    Alternatives to farrowing crates have been developed to improve sow welfare. These alternative farrowing systems have been designed to provide more space, allowing sows greater freedom of movement during lactation. This experiment was part of a larger study comparing sow and piglet performance...

  3. Hunger in pregnant sows: effects of a fibrous diet and free access to straw

    Contributor(s):: Jensen, M. B., Pedersen, L. J., Theil, P. K., Knudsen, K. E. B.

    Fibrous diets and the provision of straw have been suggested to reduce feeding motivation in pregnant sows. The present experiment investigated the separate and interactive effects of a fibrous diet and ad libitum access to straw on feeding motivation, oral behaviour and plasma levels of...

  4. Piglets call for maternal attention: vocal behaviour in Sus scrofa domesticus is modulated by mother's proximity

    Contributor(s):: Iacobucci, P., Colonnello, V., D'Antuono, L., Cloutier, S., Newberry, R. C.

    Plasticity in the production of "separation distress" vocalizations, and seeking of caregivers beyond mere satisfaction of immediate physiological needs, are manifestations of attachment that we investigated in the domestic pig ( Sus scrofa domesticus). Female piglets from eight litters were...

  5. Behaviour of pre-pubertal gilts and its relationship to farrowing behaviour in conventional farrowing crates and loose-housed pens

    Contributor(s):: Ison, S. H., Wood, C. M., Baxter, E. M.

    Individual variation in the reproductive performance of sows has the potential for greater negative impacts in loose-farrowing systems. Therefore, the ability to select gilts that will perform well would be a major advantage. This study investigated the behaviour of gilts during pre-pubertal...

  6. Achieving optimum performance in a loose-housed farrowing system for sows: the effects of space and temperature

    Contributor(s):: Baxter, E. M., Adeleye, O. O., Jack, M. C., Farish, M., Ison, S. H., Edwards, S. A.

    Piglet survival relies on interactive influences of the sow, her piglets and their environment. There are a number of design challenges in a loose-housed farrowing and lactation system to optimise this dynamic, including achieving farrowing in the desired location (i.e. a protected nest area) and...

  7. Application of the Welfare Quality animal welfare assessment system in Finnish pig production, Part I: Identification of principal components

    Contributor(s):: Munsterhjelm, C., Heinonen, M., Valros, A.

    The Welfare Quality (WQ) on-farm welfare assessment protocols for fattening pigs (n=95 farms) and sows, as well as suckling piglets (n=103 farms), were applied on Finnish farms. In order to identify distinct types of welfare problems (WPTs) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied to the...

  8. Application of the Welfare Quality animal welfare assessment system in Finnish pig production, Part II: Associations between animal-based and environmental measures of welfare

    Contributor(s):: Munsterhjelm, C., Heinonen, M., Valros, A.

    This study aimed to establish associations between the environment and animal-based measures of welfare collected on 158 Finnish farms according to the Welfare Quality systems for pigs. The data consisted of 95 welfare assessments in fattening pigs and 103 in sows, including suckling piglets....

  9. Effect of different management techniques to enhance colostrum intake on piglets' growth and mortality

    Contributor(s):: Muns, R., Manteca, X., Gasa, J.

    An experiment was conducted to study the effect four different management techniques to enhance colostrum intake had on piglet and litter performance. Treatments were performed on piglets born weighing 1.30 kg or less (SP) within 6 h of birth: control group (CON); split-nursing of the litter for...

  10. Effects of stage of gestation at mixing on aggression, injuries and stress in sows

    Contributor(s):: Stevens, B., Karlen, G. M., Morrison, R., Gonyou, H. W., Butler, K. L., Kerswell, K. J., Hemsworth, P. H.

    Confinement of breeding sows to stalls is a controversial welfare issue, and there is a worldwide move to house gestating sows in groups. We examined the effects of day of mixing following insemination on aggression, injuries and stress in sows. A total of 800 sows were used in this experiment...

  11. Moral values and attitudes toward Dutch sow husbandry

    Full-text: Available

    | Contributor(s):: Bergstra, T. J., Gremmen, B., Stassen, E. N.

    Attitudes toward sow husbandry differ between citizens and conventional pig farmers. Research showed that moral values could only predict the judgment of people in case of culling healthy animals in the course of a disease epidemic to a certain extent. Therefore, we hypothesized that attitudes...

  12. Strategic use of straw increases nest building in loose housed farrowing sows

    | Contributor(s):: Westin, R., Hultgren, J., Algers, B.

    In spite of domestication, sows are still genetically programmed to perform nesting behaviour close to farrowing. In order to facilitate nest building, a method for a strategic use of large quantities of straw has been developed by Swedish piglet producing farmers. The objectives of the present...

  13. The effect of overgrown claws on behaviour and claw abnormalities of sows in farrowing crates

    | Contributor(s):: Diaz, J. A. C., Stienezen, I. M. J., Leonard, F. C., Boyle, L. A.

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of overgrowth of the weight bearing claws on the behaviour of sows in farrowing crates. The study used 24 multiparous lactating sows, 13 with overgrown (OG) rear claws and 11 controls. Sows were video recorded continuously from approximately...

  14. Behavioural evaluation of analgesic efficacy for pain mitigation in lame sows

    | Contributor(s):: Pairis-Garcia, M. D., Johnson, A. K., Stalder, K. J., Abell, C. A., Karriker, L. A., Coetzee, J. F., Millman, S. T.

    Lameness in breeding swine has a large negative economic impact and is a welfare concern. Pain-related behaviour, such as postural changes, may be used to evaluate the presence and severity of pain in animals. The objective of this work was to determine the effects of flunixin meglumine (FM) and...

  15. Drinking behaviour in sows kept outdoors during the winter months

    | Contributor(s):: Andersen, H. M. L., Pedersen, L. J.

    In the light of the EU regulation, "pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of fresh water" and the practical problems it provides farmers during winter to keep water free of ice, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of periods with frost on the diurnal pattern...

  16. Effect of pre- and post-partum sow activity on maternal behaviour and piglet weight gain 24 h after birth

    | Contributor(s):: Illmann, G., Chaloupkova, H., Neuhauserova, K.

    Within the 24 h prior to parturition sows are active and motivated to perform nest-building behaviour. The aim of this study was to investigate: (i) whether pre-partum activity (e.g. nesting and postural changes) could predict maternal behaviour 24 h post-partum (pp) and weight gain 24 h pp, and...

  17. Effects of prepartum housing environment on abnormal behaviour, the farrowing process, and interactions with circulating oxytocin in sows

    | Contributor(s):: Yun, JinHyeon, Swan, K. M., Oliviero, C., Peltoniemi, O., Valros, A.

    We evaluated the effects on sows of prepartum housing environment on bar-biting (BB) behaviour prior to parturition, farrowing duration from first to tenth piglets, litter size, and circulating oxytocin (OT) concentrations during birth of the first five piglets. A total of 35 sows, approximately...

  18. Genetic analysis of the individual pig behaviour in backtests and human approach tests

    | Contributor(s):: Scheffler, K., Stamer, E., Traulsen, I., Krieter, J.

    The most recent development in pig production has focused increasingly on the well-being of the individual pig and animal-friendly housing conditions, i.e. the launch of the group housing of sows in the EU. In this regard, however, standard procedures which may be stressful to the animals and...

  19. Hierarchy formation in newly mixed, group housed sows and management strategies aimed at reducing its impact

    | Contributor(s):: Greenwood, E. C., Plush, K. J., Wettere, W. H. E. J. van, Hughes, P. E.

    Aggression is at its highest when sows are first introduced to new animals and hierarchies are being established. Thus, methods to reduce aggression should focus on this period. The aggression that occurs during mixing results in physiological stress responses, which can have detrimental effects...

  20. Prepartum nest-building has an impact on postpartum nursing performance and maternal behaviour in early lactating sows

    | Contributor(s):: Yun, JinHyeon, Swan, K. M., Farmer, C., Oliviero, C., Peltoniemi, O., Valros, A.

    The effects of facilitating prepartum nest-building (NB) behaviour, by providing abundant nesting materials, on postpartum maternal characteristics in early lactating sows were evaluated. A total of 35 sows, approximately seven days before the expected parturition date, were housed in: (1) CRATE...