Behaviour and Productive Performance of Pregnant Sows



Abstract. The study aimed at evaluating the welfare of pregnant sows housed in individual and collective boxes, in an intensive farming system, by monitoring their behaviour, assessment of their productive performance and measurement of some physiological and health indicators. The research has been conducted on pregnant sows (n: 60) of Landrace x Great White breed, during their entire pregnancy. The animals were housed in collective pens featuring continuous flooring (A) and in individual boxes featuring discontinuous flooring (B). The resting behaviour was obvious from the first to the last week of pregnancy for the B lot (38-60%) compared to only 40% in lot A. In the case of A lot, the high variations of time spent resting were due to the sows’ age. The aggressive behaviour was displayed within the A lot to an extent of 1.19%, while the B lot showed bar biting behaviour almost throughout the entire pregnancy period. Laminitis cases recorded with the A lot represented 1.9% compared to 3.7% with the B lot, while skin lesions accounted for 6% in the A lot compared to 3% in the B lot. The weight of the pregnant sows has increased with time spent resting and decreased time allotted to locomotion.
Different indicators must be used in assessing the pregnant sow welfare, depending on their housing system.


pregnant sows, housing, welfare indicators

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