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  1. Maize silage as enrichment material improves the welfare of growing-finishing pigs in environmentally-friendly pens

    Contributor(s):: Ocepek, Marko, Goold, Conor M., Busančić, Mirjana, Aarnink, André J. A.

    Provision of enrichment in welfare- and environmentally-friendly pig pens is important for sustainable pig production. The primary aim of the present experiment was to investigate the effects of maize silage as a singular enrichment compared to a combination of maize silage and chopped straw on...

  2. How much is enough? The amount of straw necessary to satisfy pigs’ need to perform exploratory behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Pedersen, Lene J., Herskin, Mette S., Forkman, Björn, Halekoh, Ulrich, Kristensen, Kristian M., Jensen, Margit B.

    Since 10 years, EU-legislation states that ‘pigs must have permanent access to sufficient quantity of material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities’. While much research has focused on which materials ‘enable proper investigation and manipulation activities’, little has been...

  3. A longitudinal study of the effects of providing straw at different stages of life on tail-biting and other behaviour in commercially housed pigs

    Contributor(s):: Statham, Poppy, Green, Laura, Mendl, Michael

    Tail-biting (TB) is a welfare concern. Recent studies indicate that early provision of straw may help prevent TB, however, many of these studies were carried out on small groups of pigs and may have limited applicability to commercial farms. The effect of providing straw at different stages of...

  4. Differing results for motivation tests and measures of resource use: The value of environmental enrichment to gestating sows housed in stalls

    Contributor(s):: Elmore, Monica R. P., Garner, Joseph P., Johnson, Anna K., Kirkden, Richard D., Patterson-Kane, Emily G., Richert, Brian T., Pajor, Edmond A.

    Sows are often housed in barren stalls during breeding and/or gestation. Environmental enrichment may improve sow welfare; however, the value of specific enrichments to sows is largely unknown. Our aim was to compare the motivation of gestating sows (32, n=8/treatment) housed in stalls...

  5. Implication and impact of straw provision on behaviour, lesions and pen hygiene on commercial farms rearing undocked pigs

    Contributor(s):: Wallgren, Torun, Larsen, Anne, Lundeheim, Nils, Westin, Rebecka, Gunnarsson, Stefan

    According to the European Union Council Directive 2008/120EC, measures to minimise the risk for tail biting shall be taken before practicing tail docking, e.g. provision of manipulable material. Still, >90% of the pigs within EU are tail docked. Thus, management routines for providing manipulable...

  6. Nest-building behaviour and activity budgets of sows provided with different materials

    Contributor(s):: Rosvold, Ellen Marie, Newberry, Ruth C., Framstad, Tore, Andersen, Inger-Lise

    Domestic sows are still highly motivated to build a nest before farrowing. Many pig houses have slurry systems that do not allow use of long straw or other bulky materials that could block the drains, which provides an incentive to investigate the functionality of finer-grained materials for nest...

  7. Tail posture as a detector of tail damage and an early detector of tail biting in finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Larsen, Mona Lilian Vestbjerg, Andersen, Heidi Mai-Lis, Pedersen, Lene Juul

    The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relation between the tail posture of finishing pigs and tail damage with the aims to use tail posture as (1) a detector of tail damage, (2) an early detector of tail biting to possibly predict and prevent bleeding tail damage. Tails of each...

  8. Sow free farrowing behaviour: Experiential, seasonal and individual variation

    Contributor(s):: King, Rebecca L., Baxter, Emma M., Matheson, Stephanie M., Edwards, Sandra A.

    Although sow confinement at farrowing is inherently stressful, farrowing crates remain in widespread commercial use. Sows adapt to their environment, however adaptation may be counter-productive if the farrowing system changes. The current study observed the behaviour of second parity sows...

  9. Long-term effects of straw blocks in pens with finishing pigs and the interaction with boar type

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

    This study verified the effect of straw blocks on the behavior and growth of finishing pigs and possible interactions with the genetic background (boar type). A total of 359 finishing pigs, which were offspring from different boar types, were housed in gender-mixed pens with slatted floors. Half...

  10. Degree of synchrony based on individual observations underlines the importance of concurrent access to enrichment materials in finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Zwicker, B., Weber, R., Wechsler, B., Gygax, L.

    Pigs are sociable animals with a strong motivation to explore and forage, and it has been stated that they have a strong motivation to do so synchronously. We examined the synchrony of exploration in groups of finishing pigs when enrichment materials were offered. We used a novel measure of...

  11. Effect of increasing amounts of straw on pigs' explorative behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Jensen, M. B., Herskin, M. S., Forkman, B., Pedersen, L. J.

    According to European legislation, pigs must have permanent access to sufficient quantity of material to enable manipulation activities. However, few studies have quantified how much straw is needed to fulfil the requirements of growing pigs. We investigated the effect of increasing amount of...

  12. 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...

  13. Straw applications in growing pigs: effects on behavior, straw use and growth

    Contributor(s):: Bulens, A., Beirendonck, S. van, Thielen, J. van, Buys, N., Driessen, B.

    The short-term effects of four straw applications on pigs housed on slatted floors were investigated to determine differences in behavior, straw use and growth. Both the type of straw used and the design of the application might influence the attractiveness and effectiveness of the applications....

  14. 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...

  15. How much is enough? The amount of straw necessary to satisfy pigs' need to perform exploratory behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Pedersen, L. J., Herskin, M. S., Forkman, B., Halekoh, U., Kristensen, K. M., Jensen, M. B.

    Since 10 years, EU-legislation states that 'pigs must have permanent access to sufficient quantity of material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities'. While much research has focused on which materials 'enable proper investigation and manipulation activities',...

  16. An exploratory study on the effects of a straw dispenser in farrowing crates

    Contributor(s):: Bulens, A., Renders, L., Beirendonck, S. van, Thielen, J. van, Driessen, B.

    The effect of a straw dispenser in farrowing crates was investigated to determine the extent to which the provision of small quantities of straw has an influence on both sows and piglets. Sows and suckling piglets are often housed in barren environments with limited opportunities to show behavior...

  17. Alternative housing systems for fattening bulls under Austrian conditions with special respect to rubberised slatted floors

    Contributor(s):: Rouha-Muelleder, C., Absmanner, E., Kahrer, E., Zeiner, H., Scharl, T., Leisch, F., Stanek, C., Troxler, J.

  18. Behaviour and welfare of veal calves fed different amounts of solid feed supplemented to a milk replacer ration adjusted for similar growth

    Contributor(s):: Webb, L. E., Bokkers, E. A. M., Engel, B., Gerrits, W. J. J., Berends, H., Reenen, C. G. van

  19. The welfare of growing pigs in five different production systems in France and Spain: assessment of health

    Contributor(s):: Temple, D., Courboulay, V., Velarde, A., Dalmau, A., Manteca, X.

  20. Behaviour of 3-week weaned pigs in Straw-FlowReg., deep straw and flatdeck housing systems

    Contributor(s):: Kelly, H. R. C., Bruce, J. M., English, P. R., Fowler, V. R., Edwards, S. A.

    The behaviour of 3-week weaned pigs in different housing systems was examined as part of an assessment of the suitability of the Straw-Flow system for pigs of this age. Three replicate pens of 20 pigs were weaned at 6.4 kg liveweight into each of: (a) deep-straw; (b) Straw-Flow; (c) large...