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  1. A preliminary study of the effects of individual response to challenge tests and stress induced by humans on learning performance of weaned piglets (Sus scrofa)

    Contributor(s):: Brajon, S., Laforest, J. P., Schmitt, O., Devillers, N.

    This study investigated whether individual behavioural characteristics of piglets and stress induced by experience with humans can influence learning performance. After weaning, piglets received a chronic experience with humans to modulate their emotional state: rough (ROU), gentle (GEN), or...

  2. Identification and development of measures suitable as potential breeding traits regarding dairy cows' reactivity towards humans

    Contributor(s):: Ebinghaus, A., Ivemeyer, S., Rupp, J., Knierim, U.

    Behavioural indicators of the human-animal relationship (HAR) are predominantly used in animal welfare science. However, the reactivity of dairy cows - as part of the HAR - is also of interest in the context of dairy breeding, due to its estimated moderate heritability. The avoidance distance...

  3. Does group size have an impact on welfare indicators in fattening pigs?

    Contributor(s):: Meyer-Hamme, S. E. K., Lambertz, C., Gauly, M.

    Production systems for fattening pigs have been characterized over the last 2 decades by rising farm sizes coupled with increasing group sizes. These developments resulted in a serious public discussion regarding animal welfare and health in these intensive production systems. Even though large...

  4. Behavioural patterns established during suckling reappear when piglets are forced to form a new dominance hierarchy

    Contributor(s):: Skok, J., Prevolnik, M., Urek, T., Mesarec, N., Skorjanc, D.

    Early life experiences considerably influence the behavioural development of the animals in which the social environment plays a crucial role. Neonatal piglets experience intense social (including aggressive) interactions when compete with their littermates for the access to teats on the sow's...

  5. 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...

  6. Early human handling in non-weaned piglets: effects on behaviour and body weight

    Contributor(s):: Oliveira, D. de, Costa, M. J. R. P. da, Zupan, M., Rehn, T., Keeling, L. J.

    Early handling of animals including tactile stimulation (TS) has been shown to have beneficial effects on the physical and psychological development of species where considerable maternal interaction, e.g. in the form of licking, already occurs. But little is known about the magnitude of these...

  7. 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...

  8. Effects of growth-promoting technology on feedlot cattle behavior in the 21 days before slaughter

    Contributor(s):: Stackhouse-Lawson, K. R., Tucker, C. B., Calvo-Lorenzo, M. S., Mitloehner, F. M.

    There is growing interest in the animal welfare implications of growth-promoting technology used in feedlot cattle, namely hormonal implants, ionophores, antibiotics and β 2-adrenergic agonists. Previous studies have focused on the effects of implants on aggression, but little work has...

  9. 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...

  10. Fresh wood reduces tail and ear biting and increases exploratory behaviour in finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Telkanranta, H., Bracke, M. B. M., Valros, A.

    Chewing and rooting are high behavioural priorities in pigs. Lack of suitable materials can lead to abnormal behaviours such as tail and ear biting. In commercial farming, slatted floors limit the use of straw, and various point-source objects have therefore been developed. The crucial challenge...

  11. Persistency of the piglet's reactivity to the handler following a previous positive or negative experience

    Contributor(s):: Brajon, S., Laforest, J. P., Bergeron, R., Tallet, C., Hotzel, M. J., Devillers, N.

    A central question in the stockman-animal relationship is how animals perceive humans depending on previous interactions with them. This study aimed at measuring the influence of a previous experience with humans on subsequent reactivity to humans of weaned piglets. Treatments differing in type...

  12. The influence of neonatal environment on piglet play behaviour and post-weaning social and cognitive development

    Contributor(s):: Martin, J. E., Ison, S. H., Baxter, E. M.

    Research has shown that the domestic pig is highly playful throughout its development and that play is an important aspect of social and cognitive development. Therefore, the neonatal environment is fundamental to successful stimulation of play in neonatal pigs, which could have indirect and...

  13. Facilitating 'learning from mom how to eat like a pig' to improve welfare of piglets around weaning

    Contributor(s):: Oostindjer, M., Kemp, B., Brand, H. van den, Bolhuis, J. E.

    Piglets in commercial husbandry are weaned abruptly and at a rather young age. Many weanling piglets are poorly adapted to ingest solid food, often resulting in a period of underfeeding. The underfeeding generally leads to a poor growth, diarrhoea occurrence and the development of damaging...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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', little has been...

  17. 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...

  18. Same pig, different conclusions: stakeholders differ in qualitative behaviour assessment

    Contributor(s):: Duijvesteijn, N., Benard, M., Reimert, I., Camerlink, I.

    Animal welfare in pig production is frequently a topic of debate and is sensitive in nature. This debate is partly due to differences in values, forms, convictions, interests and knowledge among the stakeholders that constitute differences among their frames of reference with respect to pigs and...

  19. A combination of behavioral and physiological indicators for assessing pig welfare on the farm

    Contributor(s):: Candiani, D., Salamano, G., Mellia, E., Doglione, L., Bruno, R., Toussaint, M., Gruys, E.

    The purpose of this research was to identify pig welfare indicators that could help in recognizing stressful practices on farm. The study evaluated behavioral and physiological indicators (cortisol and negative acute phase proteins) in 2 groups of 20 female pigs 4 months old after a 48-hr...

  20. Aggressive behavior in two different group-housing systems for pregnant sows

    Contributor(s):: Chapinal, N., Ruiz-de-la-Torre, J. L., Cerisuelo, A., Gasa, J., Baucells, M. D., Manteca, X.

    The study housed 120 pregnant sows from Day 29 of pregnancy to 1 week before parturition either in groups of 10 with trickle feeding (TRICKLE) or in groups of 20 with an unprotected electronic sow feeding (FITMIX). The study recorded aggressive interaction on 11 nonconsecutive days. Frequency of...