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  1. Tail biting behaviour and tail damage in pigs and the relationship with general behaviour: Predicting the inevitable?

    Contributor(s):: Ursinus, Winanda W., Van Reenen, Cornelis G., Kemp, Bas, Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth

    Tail biting behaviour in pigs is a common problem in conventional housing systems. Our study examined the consistency over time in tail biting and tail damage and it explored the predictive value of general behaviours observed in individual pigs and in pens as a whole. Pigs (n=480), reared in...

  2. The pig's nose and its role in dominance relationships and harmful behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Camerlink, I., Turner, S. P.

    Affiliative behaviour may have an essential role in many behavioural processes. Gently nosing between group members occurs in almost all social behavioural processes of pigs (Sus scrofa), but the reasons for its performance are unclear. We examined whether nosing between pigs was related to...

  3. Chewable materials before weaning reduce tail biting in growing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Telkänranta, Helena, Swan, Kirsi, Hirvonen, Heikki, Valros, Anna

    Tail biting in pigs is a multi-factorial problem, and the early rearing environment has been proposed as a potential previously unidentified factor. The aim of this study was to test whether access to chewable material from birth to weaning reduces later tail biting. Undocked litters of 59 sows...

  4. Tail biting in fattening pigs: Associations between frequency of tail biting and other abnormal behaviours

    Contributor(s):: Brunberg, Emma, Wallenbeck, Anna, Keeling, Linda J.

    This study investigated the association between tail biting (TB) and other abnormal behaviours in a group of non-tail docked pigs. Behavioural data were collected from 742 pigs housed on a commercial farm. The prevalence of performed and received TB, belly nosing, bar biting, ear biting and...

  5. Relationship between growth rate and oral manipulation, social nosing, and aggression in finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Camerlink, Irene, Bijma, Piter, Kemp, Bas, Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth

    Pigs may affect each other's health, welfare and productivity through their behaviour. The effect of a pig on the growth rate of its pen mates is partly heritable and is referred to as its social genetic effect. Social genetic effects, also known as indirect genetic effects, have been found in a...

  6. 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...

  7. The long and short of it: A review of tail docking in farm animals

    Contributor(s):: Sutherland, Mhairi A., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Tail docking involves amputating a portion of the tail for a variety of reasons. We review the scientific evidence for the rationale for tail docking, a description of the different methods used, the pain response to the procedure and the effectiveness of pain alleviation, and, finally, the...

  8. Breeding against harmful social behaviours in pigs and chickens: State of the art and the way forward

    Contributor(s):: Turner, Simon P.

    Harmful social behaviours are prevalent in commercial farming environments and their reduction through economically feasible husbandry changes is challenging. Selective breeding may offer a complementary approach to reduce the expression of these traits. This article explores the progress made in...

  9. Is tail biting in growing pigs reduced by a prolonged suckling period?

    Contributor(s):: Naya, Ashley, Traulsen, Imke, Gertz, Marvin, Hasler, Mario, Burfeind, Onno, große Beilage, Elisabeth, Krieter, Joachim

    It was the aim of the study to investigate the effect of a prolonged suckling period and group housing before weaning on tail biting in undocked nursery pigs. To do this, experiments with three treatment groups were investigated. In the first group, pigs were conventionally housed in pens with...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Agent-based modelling in applied ethology: An exploratory case study of behavioural dynamics in tail biting in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Boumans, Iris J. M. M., Hofstede, Gert Jan, Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth, de Boer, Imke J. M., Bokkers, Eddie A. M.

    Understanding behavioural dynamics in pigs is important to assess pig welfare in current intensive pig production systems. Agent-based modelling (ABM) is an approach to gain insight into behavioural dynamics in pigs, but its use in applied ethology and animal welfare science has been limited so...

  13. Effect of analgesic strategies on pain behaviour associated with combined ring castration and hot iron tail docking in Merino lambs

    Contributor(s):: Kells, Nikki J., Beausoleil, Ngaio J., R Godfrey, A. Jonathan, E Littlewood, Katherine, Ward, R. Neil, Johnson, Craig B.

    Most countries don’t require analgesia to be provided to lambs

  14. Early indicators of tail biting outbreaks in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Wedin, Maya, Baxter, Emma M., Jack, Mhairi, Futro, Agnieszka, D’Eath, Richard B.

    Tail biting outbreaks in pig farming cause suffering through pain and stress, and producers lose revenue due to carcass condemnation. Reliable behavioural indications of when an outbreak is imminent would provide farmers with tools for mitigating the outbreak in advance. This study investigated...

  15. Tail and ear movements as possible indicators of emotions in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Marcet Rius, Míriam, Pageat, Patrick, Bienboire-Frosini, Cécile, Teruel, Eva, Monneret, Philippe, Leclercq, Julien, Lafont-Lecuelle, Céline, Cozzi, Alessandro

    A better understanding of animal emotions is an important goal in disciplines ranging from neuroscience to animal welfare science, but few reliable tools exist for measuring these emotions. Play behaviour is generally recognized as a trigger of positive emotions in mammals, and previous studies...

  16. 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...

  17. Tail posture predicts tail biting outbreaks at pen level in weaner pigs

    Contributor(s):: Lahrmann, Helle Pelant, Hansen, Christian Fink, D’Eath, Rick, Busch, Marie Erika, Forkman, Björn

    Detecting a tail biting outbreak early is essential to reduce the risk of pigs getting severe tail damage. A few previous studies suggest that tail posture and behavioural differences can predict an upcoming outbreak. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate if differences in...

  18. Evaluating environmental enrichment as a method to alleviate pain after castration and tail docking in pigs

    Contributor(s):: Backus, Brittany L., McGlone, John J.

    Castration and tail docking are common management practices performed on commercial swine farms in the US and around the world to reduce adverse behaviors and the occurrence of boar taint. However, these practices themselves are a welfare concern for the piglet because they cause acute pain. The...

  19. Tail Docking of Canine Puppies: Reassessment of the Tail's Role in Communication, the Acute Pain Caused by Docking and Interpretation of Behavioural Responses

    Full-text: Available

    | Contributor(s):: David J Mellor

    Laws, regulations and professional standards increasingly aim to ban or restrict non-therapeutic tail docking in canine puppies. These constraints have usually been justified by reference to loss of tail participation in communication between dogs, the acute pain presumed to be caused during...

  20. Tail Docking and Ear Cropping Dogs: Public Awareness and Perceptions

    Full-text: Available

    | Contributor(s):: Katelyn E. Mills, Jesse Robbins, Marina A. G. von Keyserlingk

    Tail docking and ear cropping are two surgical procedures commonly performed on many dog breeds. These procedures are classified as medically unnecessary surgeries whose purpose is primarily cosmetic. Available attitude research surrounding these controversial practices has been limited to...