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Behaviour of sows is dynamic at mixing into groups with free access shoulder stalls

Clarke, Taya, Pluske, J.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-7194-2164, Miller, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-4634-5819, Collins, T.ORCID: 0000-0003-4597-0812, Barnes, A.L.ORCID: 0000-0002-7227-230X and Fleming, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0626-3851 (2013) Behaviour of sows is dynamic at mixing into groups with free access shoulder stalls. In: Manipulating Pig Production XIV. Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Pig Science Association (APSA) Biennial Conference, 24 - 27 November 2013, Melbourne, Australia p. 243.

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Traditionally, the main focus in behavioural studies of group-housed sows has been how aggression changes over time, with little attention paid to other (not necessarily negative) aspects of behaviour. For example, it has been established that, compared with open group pens, the presence of partial feeding stalls results in reduced levels of aggression over the first 90 min of mixing (Barnett et al, 1992), but there are few data regarding other behaviour. Behaviour is dynamic and negative interactions are not the only welfare-relevant actions, and therefore other behaviour such as investigation (sniffing/interacting with pen or another animal), time spent walking, standing (in the group or stalls) or lying should also be quantified to provide a more holistic picture of sow activity at mixing into groups. There are also limited studies on sows mixed at 5 d post-mating. We predicted that behaviour of sows changes over the 90 min post-mixing and that the expression of aggression is transient as the animals establish their social structure.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
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