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Mixing feed in compost increases use but not cleanliness of rooting areas for growing-finishing pigs

Knoll, M.; Bokkers, E.A.M.; Leeb, C.; Wimmler, C.; Andersen, H.M.-L.; Thomsen, R.; Früh, B. and Holinger, M. (2021) Mixing feed in compost increases use but not cleanliness of rooting areas for growing-finishing pigs. In: Book of Abstracts of the 72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Sciences. Davos, Switzerland. 30 August - 3 September 2021, Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, no. 27, p. 534.

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Summary

Providing pigs with a rooting area filled with an appropriate material enables exploratory behaviour and is therefore considered to improve animal welfare. Mixing corn pellets into the rooting material could increase use and exploration while reducing elimination behaviour in these areas. To investigate this hypothesis, we compared two experimental pens (E) with rooting areas filled with compost produced from garden waste, in which 2 kg of corn pellets were mixed into every morning, with two control pens (C, rooting areas filled with compost only) on a commercial farm. Groups were repeated to obtain six replicates per treatment. We registered behaviour once a week through direct observations of the complete outdoor area and additional video recordings of the rooting area. Behavioural variables were general activity, rooting, agonistic and play behaviour. Cleanliness of the rooting material was assessed via visual scoring and chemical analysis of compost samples. The latter included tests on dry matter content, conductivity, and ammonium concentration. Data were analysed with linear mixed-effects models. Results showed that there was a tendency for a higher total number of pigs in the rooting area in E than in C (P=0.06). In E, more pigs were lying in the rooting area than in C (P=0.04). There was no difference in activity and rooting behaviour between treatments. Daytime influenced all recorded behaviours in the rooting area (P<0.001). Conductivity and ammonium concentration in the compost increased the longer the compost remained in the rooting area (P<0.001), but there was no difference between the two treatments. We conclude that mixing corn pellets into rooting material increases the overall presence of pigs, but not the rooting behaviour and cleanliness.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:animal welfare, pigs, animal health, animal feeding, Abacus, FiBL55314
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
animal welfare
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_443
English
swine
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7555
English
animal health
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_431
English
animal feeding
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_429
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > POWER
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal nutrition
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal welfare & housing > Animal welfare
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Pigs
ISBN:978-90-8686-366-2
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:43300
Deposited On:13 Jan 2022 12:29
Last Modified:18 Jan 2022 16:08
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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