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Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Elisabeth Maria Schneiber (2009): Spiel- und Erkundungsverhalten von Saugferkeln in drei verschiedenen Freilaufsystemen.
Master / Diploma Thesis, BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 87. UB BOKU obvsg FullText

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Activity, play and explorative behaviour in particular, can be indicators for animal welfare, especially in young animals. It was the aim of this study to compare 3 different farrowing systems without fixation of the sow with regard to play and explorative behaviour of suckling piglets. 3 farrowing pens with 13 to 14 replicates per system were investigated. The farrowing pens were a two-area enriched pen with straw as bedding material and two differently sized, shaped and fitted single-area pens (perforated floors without bedding). The behaviour of the piglets was recorded on days 3, 12 and 19 after birth for 8 hours each. Solitary play (scamper, pivot, spin), social play (pushing, nudging, mounting), explorative behaviour (directed to floor, pen fittings, littermates or sow) and locomotor play were assessed using intermittent continuous behaviour sampling and scan sampling respectively. There were significant effects of the housing system on total activity, locomotor play, solitary and social play. Although no significant effect on total exploratory behaviour was found, the housing system affected each single element of explorative behaviour significantly. The highest overall activity was found in the smallest single-area pen when compared with the two other pens. Furthermore piglet behaviour varied significantly depending on the piglets’ age. As expected, in all systems activity increased from day 3 to day 19 after birth. Only with locomotor play there was no increase from 2 to 3 weeks of age. There were also significant interactions between system and age of the piglets for all groups of behaviour observed. We expected that piglets in a greater and structured pen with straw bedding would show more activity than piglets in smaller and non structured pens without straw bedding. This could not be verified in the present study. This may have been caused by features such as the flooring material and the amount of bedding rather than the housing system per se. In conclusion, there was no clear preference for one of the farrowing systems regarding the behaviours observed.

Beurteilende(r): Winckler Christoph

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