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Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 58  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 55 - 60

Effects of a new housing system and temperature on sow behaviour during lactation

Nicolas Devillers and Chantal Farmer    

Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the adaptation of sows to housing in interaction with ambient temperature. Seventy primiparous sows were used to compare the effect of housing sows in a standard farrowing crate (STD) or a modified farrowing pen system (MOD) on sow activity, space use and nursing behaviour at 21 °C or 29 °C. The MOD pen consisted of a STD crate with a back area where the sows could access by backing up into. This area was equipped with rubber mats, a feeder and a water nipple which they could use to moisten the floor. Sows in the MOD pens spent more than 85% of their time in the back area, were more active and had fewer non-productive nursings in late lactation than the sows in STD crates. This new farrowing pen design improved the behavioural expression of the sows irrespective of temperature.

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