American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers



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SWINE HOUSING IMPACTS ON ENVIRONMENT AND BEHAVIOR: A COMPARISON BETWEEN HOOP STRUCTURES AND TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   D. C. Lay Jr., M. F. Haussmann, M. J. Daniels, J. D. Harmon, T. L. Richard
Keywords:   swine, housing, welfare

The effect of housing on animal environment and behavior have been studied in a comparative trial with three deep-bedded hoop structures and one totally, environmentally- controlled slatted-floor building. In order to assess animal welfare, behavior indicative of both poor and rich welfare were quantified. Behavior indicative of poor welfare were considered to be the performance of aberrant behavior, stereotypical behavior and excessive fighting. Behaviors indicative of rich behavior were the performance of normal maintenance behaviors and play behavior. Hoop structures experienced lower winter air temperatures than did the confinement building (mean, 4.8 0 vs. 18.1 0 C), but effective temperatures for the animals were enhanced in the hoop structure by heat generated by the decomposing bedded pack (ranging from approximately –1.1 0 C to 47 0 C). The confinement building maintained a higher ammonia level than did the hoop structures. Pigs raised in the confinement system which did use bedding were found to be resting more often (P < .03); however, they were also found to perform more aberrant and stereotypical behavior in addition to more frequent fighting (P < .03). Pigs raised in the hoop structure were found to perform more play behavior than confinement raised pigs (P < .03). Based on the greater incidence of aberrant, stereotyped, and agonistic behavior of confinement pigs and the greater incidence of play behavior by hoop raised pigs; the welfare of hoop raised pigs is considered to be richer than that of confinement raised pigs. The major contributing factor to explain this is likely the provision of bedding, which allows the pigs an opportunity to perform species typical behavior. (Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)