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EVALUATION OF IMPACT OF FARROWING PEN DESIGN ON SOW WELFARE
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: No Citation available.
Authors: L. Botto, S. Mihina, V. Brestensky, A. Hanus, G. Szabova
Keywords: Sows, Welfare, Farrowing pen, Bedding
Welfare of sows in straw-bedded farrowing pens with free movement of sows (7.5 m 2 per pen) and in strawless raised pens with slatted floor and fixing of sow in crate (3.4 m 2 per pen) was evaluated on the basis of sow behaviour. Sow behaviour before farrowing and for 3 times after farrowing in each type of pens was studied. The method of taking individual pictures at one-minute intervals during a 24 hours period was used. Time of lying, licking of the pen elements, movement (in free types of pen), standing and sitting was registered. In crate types of pen, the time spent biting pen elements and vacuum chewing were noticed as a part of other manifestations. In addition, a number of some other sow behaviours were recorded permanently.
The sows lay more in the strawless farrowing pen with crate than in the bedded farrowing pens with free movement. In the bedded pens the sows could better chose position of lying and could rest more effectively. Sows laid longer in less natural position on their belly in strawless pens with crate. The sows could move and stayed more in loose bedded pen than in the crate. In strawless pens were recorded non-natural behavioural activities such as are biting of trough and partitions and vacuum chewing. In the straw bedded farrowing pen with free movement there was frequently recorded natural exploration and maternal behaviour of sows.
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