Section 71
Chapter 70,874

Behaviour analysis of pregnant sows with energetic adapted ad libitum feeding

Angermann, E.; Kunath, L.; Ebschke, S.; Wensch-Dorendorf, M.; Und, N.K.; von Borell, E.

Zuchtungskunde 90(4): 293-303


ISSN/ISBN: 0044-5401
Accession: 070873440

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The aim of this study was to analyse the feeding consumption behaviour and the circadian rhythmicity of pregnant sows through an innovative ad libitum feeding system and to test if it affects the social hierarchy of a multiparous sow. In order to determine social hierarchy, some focus sows were marked with different colored signs. In the first trial, 13 pregnant sows out of 35 were chosen as focus animals while in the second trial 14 out of 30 sows were chosen. For each trial data was collected through video cameras over 72 hours. Through video analysis, all the agonistic interactions of the focus animals which have the intention to push a feeding sow away from the through, were evaluated. Winners and losers were determined according to successful displacement attempts and individual success indices (EI) were calculated, categorizing the focus animals in three hierarchical groups (dominant, frequently subdominant, absolutely subdominant). It was proven that the EI (the hierarchic group respectively) influence both the length of feeding behaviour as well the duration of stay in the feeding area. The visual depiction of the feeding rhythm showed that all three hierarchical groups show a typical biphasic feeding rhythm with a peak in the late morning and afternoon. However, there are still differences according to hierarchical groups. It became evident that the percentual trough occupation of the absolutely subdominant group was at 64% between 10 pm and 12 am, while the other two groups did not feed during this time.

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