Eriksen, J.; Studnitz, M.; Strudsholm, K.; Kongsted, A.G. and Hermansen, J.E. (2006) Effect of nose ringing and stocking rate of pregnant and lactating outdoor sows on exploratory behavior, grass cover and nutrient loss potential. Livestock Science, 104, pp. 91-102.
Nose ringing of outdoor sows is practiced to reduce grass sward damage for environmental reasons but conflicts with natural behaviour considerations. We investigated effects of ringing pregnant and lactating outdoor sows on foraging and explorative behaviour, grass cover and nutrient deposition. The experiment included both ringed and unringed sows. For unringed sows the paddocks were either used continuously throughout the experiment or divided into two and sows were moved half way through the experimental period leaving the first used paddock for regrowth. Ringing did not prevent the sow’s rooting, but rooting was less pronounced, when sows were ringed. On average, ringing increased grass cover from 14 to 38% and from 64 to 81% in paddocks with pregnant and lactating sows, respectively. In paddocks with unringed sows kept at a double density and followed by a resting period, the grass cover in autumn was restored to a high degree in paddocks with pregnant sows. In lactating sow paddocks the level of inorganic N was high but with no significant relation to extent of grass cover. In pregnant sow paddocks the soil inorganic N content was significantly reduced by increased grass cover and at 60% grass cover soil inorganic N content was at a low level. From the experiment it was evident that although ringing did have a positive environmental effect, it was not the main factor influencing potential losses. Management choices in terms of feeding, animal density and nutrient distribution are considered to be at least as important.
|EPrint Type:||Journal paper|
|Subjects:|| Soil > Nutrient turnover|
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
|Research affiliation:||Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > II. 9 (PIGSYS) New systems in organic pig production|
|Deposited By:||Eriksen, Senior scientist Jørgen|
|Deposited On:||05 Dec 2006|
|Last Modified:||31 Mar 2013 13:20|
|Refereed:||Peer-reviewed and accepted|
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