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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. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Social support does not require attachment: any conspecific tranquilizes isolated guinea-pig pups

    Contributor(s):: Tokumaru, R. S., Ades, C., Monticelli, P. F.

    Guinea pig pups produce typical distress whistles when isolated. Whistles' frequency is decreased or abolished when they contact with the mother and, to a lesser degree, a sibling or even an unfamiliar female, is regained. Those non-aggressive companions were considered social support providers...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Agonistic behaviour, skin lesions and activity pattern of entire male, female and castrated male finishing pigs

    Contributor(s):: Bunger, B., Schrader, L., Schrade, H., Zacharias, B.

    Fattening of intact boars is the least invasive alternative to the detrimental welfare effects of surgical castration of piglets. However, beside problems such as boar taint the divergent agonistic and sexual behaviour of boars may impair the pigs' welfare during fattening. To evaluate the effect...

  9. Evidence for litter differences in play behaviour in pre-weaned pigs

    Contributor(s):: Brown, S. M., Klaffenbock, M., Nevison, I. M., Lawrence, A. B.

    The aim of this study was to analyse spontaneous play behaviour in litters of domestic pigs ( Sus scrofa) for sources of variation at individual and litter levels and to relate variation in play to measures of pre and postnatal development. Seven litters of commercially bred piglets ( n=70) were...

  10. Understanding feeding patterns in growing pigs by modelling growth and motivation

    Contributor(s):: Boumans, I. J. M. M., Bokkers, E. A. M., Hofstede, G. J., Boer, I. J. M. de

    Feeding is an essential behaviour for body maintenance in pigs and closely related to their growth and productivity performance. Mechanisms underlying feeding behaviour in pigs are still unclear. Understanding these mechanisms can provide valuable insights into the complex interactions among...

  11. 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...

  12. Temperature-dependent consumption of drinking water in piglet rearing

    Contributor(s):: Hoeck, J., Buscher, W.

    This study focussed on examining the temperature-specific consumption of drinking water by piglets. To this end, a drinking trough system was developed to offer the animals water at three different temperatures (warm (+10°C then barn temperature), barn temperature (actual barn temperature) and...

  13. 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...

  14. Diurnal rhythms, locations and behavioural sequences associated with eliminative behaviours in fattening pigs

    Contributor(s):: Guo, YuGuang, Lian, XinMing, Yan, PeiShi

    Understanding eliminative behaviours in pigs is very important to maintain individual and pen cleanliness. In this experiment, twenty fattening pigs were housed in four concrete floor pens with a floor space of 3.25 m 2 per pig and free accessibility of outdoor runs. We studied the diurnal...

  15. Farm animal welfare and children: a preliminary study building an attitude scale and evaluating an intervention

    Contributor(s):: Lakestani, N., Aguirre, V., Orihuela, A.

    Children are future consumers; they will impact future animal welfare standards. This pilot study evaluated a nonhuman animal welfare education program, building a farm animal attitude questionnaire for 8- to 10-year-old children. The educational material focused on the behaviors and needs of...

  16. Network characteristics and development of social structure of agonistic behaviour in pigs across three repeated rehousing and mixing events

    Contributor(s):: Buttner, K., Scheffler, K., Czycholl, I., Krieter, J.

    In commercial pig production, the mixing of unacquainted pigs is a standard procedure which leads to agonistic interactions with a wide range of individual pig behaviour. A reduction in these agonistic interactions positively affects animal health, welfare aspects and production parameters. With...

  17. The backtest in pigs revisited - an analysis of intra-situational behaviour

    Contributor(s):: Zebunke, M., Repsilber, D., Nurnberg, G., Wittenburg, D., Puppe, B.

    The occurrence of different behavioural phenotypes in animals (regarding temperament and personality) has increasingly attracted the attention of scientists dealing with farm animal breeding, management and welfare. As part of the adaptation repertoire, coping behaviour describes how animals deal...

  18. Analysis of the phenotypic link between behavioural traits at mixing and increased long-term social stability in group-housed pigs

    Contributor(s):: Desire, S., Turner, S. P., D'Eath, R. B., Doeschl-Wilson, A. B., Lewis, C. R. G., Roehe, R.

    Mixing of growing pigs results in aggressive contests between group members. As aggression serves to establish dominance relationships, it is possible that increased initial aggression may facilitate the formation of social hierarchies. The objective of the study was to investigate whether there...

  19. Comparison of the behaviour of piglets raised in an artificial rearing system or reared by the sow

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

    Over the last 15 years, rising sow fertility has led to a considerable increase in litter size. As a consequence, the number of live born piglets may outnumber the number of functional teats, and surplus piglets are removed from the sow at the age of 3-6 days and fed with artificial milk. The...

  20. 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...