Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Review of wallowing in pigs: implications for animal welfare
Bracke, M.B.M. ; Spoolder, H.A.M. - \ 2011
Animal Welfare 20 (2011)3. - ISSN 0962-7286 - p. 347 - 363.
decision-support-system - consumer demand theory - growing pigs - pregnant sows - sus-scrofa - summer environment - swine performance - unshaded wallows - semantic model - behavior
Most modern production systems, especially in temperate climates, do not offer wallowing facilities to pigs and, to date, this has neither generated much concern in welfare science nor public debate on pig welfare. Nevertheless, wallowing is a natural behaviour of pigs which may be important to them. This paper systematically examines the overall importance of wallowing for pig welfare using principles developed in semantic modelling. As a first step, relevant citations were collected from the scientific literature. Secondly, since the importance of the attribute (‘wallowing’) is dependent upon the discrepancy between its best and worst levels, these levels were specified in relation to the status quo in pig husbandry, ie no pool (even during periods of overheating) and the ideal mud pool, respectively. Criteria for an ideal mud pool were formulated in terms of pool location and size, substrate, thermal conditions, body care and hygiene. Thirdly, available scientific information about wallowing was systematically described in relation to ten so-called weighting categories identified in semantic modelling (pain and illness, survival/heat stress, fitness, stress, aggression, abnormal behaviour, frustration, natural behaviour, preferences and demand). Fourthly, the welfare importance of wallowing was assessed by tentatively comparing it to several other welfare attributes, such as food, foraging substrate, social contact and non-castration. This leads to the suggestion that wallowing is important for pig welfare because of its multifaceted nature. It may even be very important when other forms of thermoregulation are sub-optimal. This paper, finally, discusses the ‘ethical room for manoeuvre’ concerning the (non-) implementation of mud pools in practice. An integrated approach is suggested to address related scientific, technological and ethical issues, because stakeholders are faced not only with scientific and technological gaps in knowledge but also with economical, ecological, food-safety and psychological barriers. As an important element of natural behaviour and positive welfare, the subject may provide an opportunit
Review of wallowing in pigs: Description of the behaviour and its motivational basis
Bracke, M.B.M. - \ 2011
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 132 (2011)1-2. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 1 - 13.
boar sus-scrofa - animal-welfare - growing-pigs - habitat selection - natural behavior - pregnant sows - outdoor runs - feral pigs - model - temperature
Wallowing, i.e. coating the body surface with mud, is a natural behaviour of pigs,commonly observed in feral pigs and wild boar, but rarely provided for in current housing systems for domestic pigs. Furthermore, in welfare science the subject has not been receiving much attention. This paper reviews wallowing in pigs and related species. The behaviour is described and its motivational basis is examined. Underlying the review was a literature search for scientific citations. In total 48 papers were identified containing citations about wallowing behaviour in pigs and wild boar, and 12 papers contained citations about wallowing in related species. Wallowing is observed in many related species including rhino's, elephants, bovids (e.g. American bison) and deer. Pigs also share several taxonomic characteristics with water-loving mammals such as water buffalo's, hippo's and whales. The common perception is that pigs wallow mainly for cooling, sunburn protection and the removal of ecto-parasites. Little scientific evidence exists for other functions than thermoregulation. Pigs lack functional sweat glands and wallowing in mud is an effective behavioural control mechanism in pigs to prevent hyperthermia. Wallowing, however, may also serve other functions, e.g. in scent-marking and sexual behaviour. In addition, wallowing in pigs, like dustbathing in poultry, may be indicative of positive welfare and, perhaps, the performance of the behaviour is ‘hardwired’ and rewarding in itself. If so, wallowing could be an important element of a good life in pigs
Effects of chronic stress: A Comparison between tethered and loose sows
Staay, F.J. van der; Schuurman, T. ; Hulst, M.M. ; Smits, M.A. ; Prickaerts, J. ; Kenis, G. ; Korte, M. - \ 2010
Physiology and Behavior 100 (2010)2. - ISSN 0031-9384 - p. 154 - 164.
decision-support system - pituitary-adrenal axis - animal-models - major depression - pregnant sows - dexamethasone-suppression - welfare assessment - cortisol response - coping styles - prion protein
The present study aimed to investigate whether long-lasting, recurrent tethering of sows leads to enduring effects on measures that may be indicative of chronic stress. Sows that had experienced tethering for about 1.5 or 4.5 years and age-matched sows kept in a social housing system (loose sows) were compared. Immediately after slaughter, blood samples were taken to measure plasma cortisol levels, and the brain, spleen, and adrenals were dissected and weighed. Gene expression in the frontal cortex and hippocampus was analyzed. Plasma cortisol levels were higher in the tethered sows than in the loose sows. The older, but not the younger, tethered sows had heavier adrenal glands than their loose counterparts. The weight of the spleen was not affected by the housing conditions, but the pituitary gland was lighter in tethered sows than in loose sows. Microarray analyses revealed an increased expression of ß-globin mRNA in the hippocampus and to a lesser extent in the frontal cortex of the older tethered sows, compared with the older loose sows. Taken together, the findings indicate that chronically stressed pigs develop depression-like symptoms. However, it can be questioned whether the pig subjected to repeated, long-term stress can be regarded an animal model of major depression.
Effects of fermentable starch on behaviour of growing pigs in barren or enriched housing
Bolhuis, J.E. ; Brand, H. van den; Bartels, A.C. ; Oostindjer, M. ; Borne, J.J.G.C. van den; Kemp, B. ; Gerrits, W.J.J. - \ 2010
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 123 (2010)3-4. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 77 - 86.
different coping characteristics - group-housed sows - high-fiber diets - blood-glucose - feeding motivation - physical-activity - foraging behavior - insulin levels - pregnant sows - straw
Fermentation of resistant starch might prolong satiety, and, therefore, positively affect behaviour and welfare of restrictedly-fed pigs. The impact of a potentially satiating diet likely depends on housing conditions, such as the availability of rooting material which may serve as a substrate for foraging behaviour. We investigated effects of resistant starch on behaviour of growing pigs in barren housing (B) or on straw bedding (S) in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Thirty-two groups of eight pigs (approximately 25 kg) were assigned to either B- or S-housing, and to native, resistant (NS) or highly digestible pregelatinised starch (PS) in the diet. Pigs were fed at 2.5 times energy requirements for maintenance in two daily meals. Behaviour was recorded in week 3 for five 1-h periods using 2-min instantaneous scan sampling. On day 23, six pigs per group were relocated to respiration chambers. Activity over the 24-h cycle was scored in week 5 using 9-min instantaneous scan sampling. S-housed pigs on the PS-diet were more active over the 24-h cycle than S-housed pigs on the NS-diet, whereas effects of starch type on activity patterns were less obvious in B-housing (starch type × housing interaction, P = 0.05). In the morning, when fresh straw was supplied, behaviour was strongly affected by housing, whereas effects of dietary starch were most obvious around the second, afternoon, meal. S-housed pigs were more active, showed more exploration and less oral manipulation of pen mates and fixtures than B-housed pigs. The PS-diet resulted in more aggression over the day than the NS-diet in B-housed pigs, whereas levels of aggression were similar for S-housed pigs on both diets (starch type × housing interaction, P <0.10). Before their second meal, NS-fed pigs showed less locomotion, aggression (P <0.05) and manipulation of pen mates (P <0.10) than PS-fed pigs, which likely reflects reduced restlessness due to enhanced inter-meal satiety in the NS-fed pigs. After the afternoon meal, NS-fed pigs showed less activity, exploration and manipulation of pen fixtures (P <0.05) than PS-fed pigs. In conclusion, dietary resistant starch affected behaviour patterns of restrictedly-fed growing pigs. The decreased activity and reduced preprandial restlessness suggest that fermentable starch enhances interprandial satiety in pigs, and therefore may improve their welfare. Even though effects of resistant starch on activity levels were more obvious in enriched housing, the welfare benefits of fermentable starch may be more pronounced in barren housed pigs as these animals lack an outlet for their increased foraging motivation
Effect of dietary fibre type on physical activity and behaviour in kennelled dogs
Bosch, G. ; Beerda, B. ; Hoek, E. van de; Hesta, M. ; Poel, A.F.B. van der; Janssens, G.P.J. ; Hendriks, W.H. - \ 2009
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 121 (2009)1. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 32 - 41.
glucagon-like peptide-1 - in-vitro fermentation - gastrointestinal-tract - spatial restriction - chronic stress - pregnant sows - food-intake - responses - ghrelin - satiety
Dog diets may differ in their effectiveness of maintaining satiety after a meal. Consequently, sensations of hunger, feeding motivation, physical activity, and sensitivity to environmental stressors may be increased. Dietary fibre may be effective in prolonging postprandial satiety depending on type and inclusion level. This study evaluated the effect of fibre fermentability on behaviour in dogs. Sixteen healthy adult dogs were housed individually and fed a low-fermentable fibre (LFF) diet containing 8.5% cellulose or a high-fermentable fibre (HFF) diet containing 8.5% sugar beet pulp and 2% inulin. Dogs were fed two equal portions at 8:30 and 18:30 according to energy requirements. Behaviour of dogs in their home-cage was recorded and analyzed by instantaneous scan sampling (2 × 24 h with 15 min intervals) and focal sampling continuous recordings (10 min per animal per hour, from 9:00 until 18:00). Dogs were subjected to a behaviour test composed of the subtests open-field, sudden-silence, novel-object, and acoustic-startle. The behavioural responses of each dog were recorded. Scores for the scan and focal samples were expressed per clock hour and DIET × TIME effects were tested statistically using Residual Maximum Likelihood (REML). Data from the tests were examined using principal component analysis resulting in the compilation of two components. Data were tested statistically for DIET and DIET × SUBTEST effects using REML. Variables specific for the open-field and novel-object test were analyzed using analysis of variance. For the scans, a significant DIET × TIME effect was found for resting. At night and in the morning, HFF dogs rested more compared to LFF dogs, but they rested less between 14:00 and 17:00. For the continuous recordings, the main findings were a tendency for DIET × TIME effect for time spent resting with a pattern consistent with that for the scans. The interaction was significant for inactive-alert (lie with head up or sitting) with HFF-fed dogs having lower values around 10:00–11:00 and higher values hereafter. Finally, time spent tail wagging was significantly higher for LFF-fed dogs just before the evening meal that may indicate higher level of arousal. For the behaviour tests, no significant DIET or DIET × SUBTEST effects were detected. It is concluded that compared to the LFF diet, the HFF diet increased inactivity in kennelled beagle dogs likely through the prolongation of postprandial satiety. This effect did not change the reaction to stressful events in kennelled laboratory dogs. Enhanced susceptibility to environmental stressors at times of hunger in sensitive companion dogs may occur but requires further study
Welfare assessment of laying hens in furnished cages and non-cage systems: assimilating expert opinion
Rodenburg, T.B. ; Tuyttens, F. ; Reu, K. de; Herman, L. ; Zoons, J. ; Sonck, B. - \ 2008
Animal Welfare 17 (2008)4. - ISSN 0962-7286 - p. 355 - 361.
decision-support system - pregnant sows - farm - model
It is extremely difficult to carry out an assessment of welfare in an entirely objective manner. The choice of welfare indicators, as well as the assignment of relative weightings to these indicators, both involve a certain degree of subjectivity. The aim of this study was to create a possible method of dealing with this subjectivity, using the opinions of groups of experts to increase the consensus for a protocol for the on-farm assessment of laying-hen welfare. The selection of the 17 separate welfare indicators was based both on a questionnaire submitted to 18 international poultry welfare experts and on the practical feasibility of collecting the respective data during a one-day farm visit. Subsequently, a second group of 13 experts was asked to assign relative weightings to the welfare indicators in this protocol. This assessment was carried out twice, once with and once without provision of detailed information on the welfare indicators. When detailed information was provided, the weightings assigned to the welfare indicators were generally lower than when no detailed information was provided. In conclusion, subjectivity regarding the choice of welfare indicators and the assignment of their relative weightings, can be dealt with and made transparent by seeking consensus among experts. Although the choice of experts, the methodology for extracting consensus data, and the nature and amount of information on the welfare indicators that should be provided, are likely to benefit from further refinement, the data presented in this study should be valuable for the development and application of formalised protocols for an integrated assessment of the welfare of laying hens, on-farm.
Effects of dietary fibre on behaviour and satiety in pigs
Leeuw, J.A. de; Bolhuis, J.E. ; Bosch, G. ; Gerrits, W.J.J. - \ 2008
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 67 (2008)4. - ISSN 0029-6651 - p. 334 - 342.
group-housed sows - volatile fatty-acids - pregnant sows - growing pigs - nonstarch polysaccharides - feeding motivation - physical-activity - stereotypic behavior - gastrointestinal-tract - digestive utilization
During the past decades there has been considerable interest in the use of dietary fibre in both animal and human nutrition. In human subjects dietary fibre has been studied intensively for possible effects on body-weight management and health. In animal nutrition the interest in dietary fibre has increased because it can be used as a cheap source of energy and because of its potential to improve animal welfare and reduce abnormal (mainly stereotypic) behaviour. Animal welfare is impaired if the diet does not provide sufficient satiety, combined with an environment that does not meet specific behavioural requirements related to natural feeding habits (e.g. rooting in pigs). A considerable proportion of the behavioural effects of dietary fibre are thought to be related to reduced feeding motivation. It has been hypothesized that: (1) bulky fibres increase satiety and thereby decrease physical activity and stereotypic behaviours immediately following a meal in pigs; (2) fermentable fibres prolong postprandial satiety and thereby reduce physical activity and appetitive behaviours for many hours after a meal. The validity of these hypotheses is examined by considering published data. In sows dietary fibres (irrespective of source) reduce stereotypic self-directed behaviours and substrate-directed behaviours, and to a lesser extent overall physical activity, indicating enhanced satiety shortly after a meal. Furthermore, fermentable dietary fibre reduces substrate-directed behaviour in sows and physical activity in sows and growing pigs for many hours after a meal. Evidence of long-term effects of poorly-fermentable fibre sources is inconclusive. The findings suggest that highly-fermentable dietary fibres have a higher potential to prolong postprandial satiety
Aggregation of measures to produce an overall assessment of animal welfare. Part 2: analysis of constraints
Botreau, R. ; Bracke, M.B.M. ; Perny, P. ; Buttherworth, A. ; Capdeville, J. ; Reenen, C.G. van; Veissier, I. - \ 2007
Animal 1 (2007). - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1188 - 1197.
decision-support-system - on-farm welfare - expert opinion - pregnant sows - dairy-cattle - laying hens - indicators - parameters - science - values
The overall assessment of animal welfare is a multicriterion evaluation problem that needs a constructive strategy to compound information produced by many measures. The construction depends on specific features such as the concept of welfare, the measures used and the way data are collected. Welfare is multidimensional and one dimension probably cannot fully compensate for another one (e.g. good health cannot fully compensate for behavioural deprivation). Welfare measures may vary in precision, relevance and their relative contribution to an overall welfare assessment. The data collected are often expressed on ordinal scales, which limits the use of weighted sums to aggregate them. A sequential aggregation is proposed in the Welfare Quality® project, first from measures to welfare criteria (corresponding to dimensions with pre-set objectives) and then to an overall welfare assessment, using rules determined at each level depending on the nature and number of variables to be considered and the level of compensation to be permitted. Scientific evidence and expert opinion are used to refine the model, and stakeholders¿ approval of general principles is sought. This approach could potentially be extended to other problems in agriculture such as the overall assessment of the sustainability of production systems.
Assessment of classical swine fever diagnostics and vaccine performance
Loeffen, W.L.A. - \ 2006
Revue scientifique et technique / Office International des Epizooties 25 (2006). - ISSN 0253-1933 - p. 1025 - 1038.
subunit marker-vaccine - hog-cholera - oral immunization - chinese strain - pregnant sows - cell-culture - wild boar - pcr assay - virus - pigs
Rapid and accurate diagnosis is of the utmost importance in the control of epizootic diseases such as classical swine fever (CSF), and efficacious vaccination can be used as a supporting tool. While most of the recently developed CSF vaccines and diagnostic kits are mostly validated according to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) standards, not all of the well-established traditional vaccines and diagnostic tests were subject to these validation procedures and requirements. In this report, data were compiled on performance and validation of CSF diagnostic tests and vaccines. In addition, current strategies for differentiating infected from vaccinated animals are reviewed, as is information on the control of CSF in wildlife. Evaluation data on diagnostic tests were kindly provided by National Reference Laboratories for CSF in various European countries
Cortisol-binding globulin and meat quality in five European lines of pigs
Geverink, N.A. ; Foury, A. ; Plastow, G.S. ; Gil, L. ; Gispert, M. ; Hortós, M. ; Font I Furnols, M. ; Gort, G. ; Moisan, M.P. ; Mormède, P. - \ 2006
Journal of Animal Science 84 (2006)1. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 204 - 211.
different halothane genotypes - quantitative trait loci - pituitary-adrenal axis - large-white - carcass composition - muscle metabolism - anesthetized pigs - urinary cortisol - pregnant sows - stress
The gene (Cbg) encoding cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) has been proposed as a candidate gene to explain genetic variation in cortisol secretion and carcass composition in pigs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between CBG and pork quality in 5 European breeding lines, Pietrain, Large White (LW), and Landrace purebred lines, a Duroc synthetic line, and a Meishan (MS) x LW advanced intercross. Cortisol-binding globulin maximum binding capacity (CBG-Bmax) was twice as high (P <0.05) in MS x LW pigs compared with the other lines. There was no (P > or = 0.364) association between CBG-Bmax and carcass quality traits in Pietrain gilts, but CBG-Bmax was associated with increased loin yields in LW (P = 0.010) and Landrace (P = 0.103) gilts, decreased ham yields (P = 0.082) in Duroc gilts, and increased fat depth (P = 0.064) and leaf fat (P = 0.001) in MS x LW gilts. There was no association between CBG-Bmax and pork quality traits in Pietrain (P > or = 0.269) and Duroc (P > or = 0.114) gilts. Conversely, CBG-Bmax was associated with lighter (higher L* values; P <0.05) pork in Land-race gilts, as well as lower (P <or = 0.055) ultimate pH in the LM and semimembranosus, and a tendency for lower (P = 0.095) L* values of pork from LW gilts. Within MS x LW pigs, CBG-Bmax was associated with increased drip loss (P = 0.001) and decreased i.m. fat in the semimembranosus (P = 0.005). Because drip loss is an economically important pork quality trait, results of this study could be used in the selection of improved water-holding capacity of pork from synthetic lines involving the MS breed.
Effects of hindgut fermentation of non-starch polysaccharides on the stability of blood glucose and insulin levels and physical activity in empty sows
Leeuw, J.A. de; Jongbloed, A.W. ; Spoolder, H.A.M. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2005
Livestock Production Science 96 (2005)3. - ISSN 0301-6226 - p. 165 - 174.
volatile fatty-acids - free-feeding rats - dietary fiber - pregnant sows - energy-metabolism - growing pigs - performance - behavior - chain
A fermentable non-starch polysaccharides (fNSP)-rich diet was previously shown to stabilise glucose and insulin levels and reduce physical activity in restricted-fed sows. Stable glucose levels may prevent interprandial hunger. Aim of the present study was to elucidate the specific role of fermentation in these traits. Ten empty sows were either fed a low- (L-sows) or a high-fNSP diet (H-sows), twice daily. In three successive periods, sows received first no infusion and then, in different sequences, continuous fNSP infusion in the cecum or glucose infusion in the blood for 8 days each (GLU; energetic control). Infused energy was similar to the difference in energy derived from fNSP between diets. Blood samples, drawn between feeding times, were analysed for glucose and insulin levels and stability. Video-recordings were analysed for posture changes (physical activity). GLU and fNSP infusions stabilised glucose levels in L-sows and reduced posture changes in both L- and H-sows (H-sows, tendency). Insulin stability was less affected by infusions. GLU and fNSP infusions prevented drops of glucose below basal levels. fNSP infusion in L-sows (cecum) had similar effects as GLU infusion in H-sows (oral fNSP intake). Results imply that fermentation plays an important role in the effects of a fNSP-rich diet on the stability of glucose levels and physical activity in sows
Do Low-Density Diets Improve Broiler Breeder Welfare During Rearing and Laying.
Jong, I.C. de; Enting, H. ; Voorst, A. van; Blokhuis, H.J. - \ 2005
Poultry Science 84 (2005)2. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 194 - 203.
quantitative food restriction - high-fiber diets - feed restriction - pregnant sows - oral behavior - fed fowls - females - corticosterone - stress - stereotypies
Low-density diets may improve welfare of restricted fed broiler breeders by increasing feed intake time with less frustration of feed intake behavior as a result. Moreover, low-density diets may promote satiety through a more filled gastrointestinal tract, and thus feelings of hunger may be reduced. Broiler breeders were fed 4 different diets during the rearing and laying periods. Behavioral and physiological parameters were measured at different ages as indicators of hunger and frustration of the feeding motivation. A diet of 8.4 MJ/kg as compared with a standard diet of 10.9 MJ/kg extended feeding time and reduced stereotypic object pecking at 6 and 10 wk of age. Furthermore, compensatory feed intake at 12 wk of age was reduced. During lay, differences in behavior were observed between the treatments that could be attributed to differences in feeding time. However, birds fed the diet with the lowest energy content (i.e., 9.2 MJ/kg) had higher heterophil to lymphocyte ratios (H/L) at 40 wk of age compared with the other treatments, indicating that they experienced more stress during the laying period than the other treatments. This result could have been due to the very long feeding time of this treatment group during lay, which may be stressful. In conclusion, a low-density diet of 8.4 MJ/kg may reduce hunger and frustration in the first half of the rearing period. However, for substantial improvement of broiler breeder welfare during rearing, more extreme diet modifications are required
Maternal feed intake, but not feed composition affects postural behaviour and nursing frequency of lactating primiparous sows
Brand, H. van den; Schouten, W.G.P. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2004
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 86 (2004)1-2. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 41 - 49.
dietary energy-source - milk-production - pregnant sows - performance - level - fiber - food - restriction - interval - pigs
Effects of feed intake (high: 44 or low: 33 MJ NE per day) and major dietary energy source (fat: 131 g/kg fat, 183 g/kg starch plus sugar; starch: 31 g/kg fat, 351 g/kg starch plus sugar) of lactating primiparous sows on postural behaviour (lying, sitting, standing) and nursing frequency were studied. At day 10 and 17 of lactation, behaviour of 48 sows (12 per treatment) was recorded during 24 h. Time spent on lying tended to be higher in sows fed the High feed intake (86.7 versus 81.7%; P=0.06), whereas the time spent on (7.3 versus 11.3%, P=0.02) and frequency (20.8 versus 16.2/24 h, P=0.03) of standing were higher in sows fed the low feed intake. Feed composition did not affect the behaviour of the sows. Time spent on lying decreased from day 10 to day 17 (87.1 versus 81.3%, P
Dietary fiber stabilizes blood glucose and insulin levels and reduces physical activity in sows (Sus scrofa)
Leeuw, J.A. de; Jongbloed, A.W. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2004
The Journal of Nutrition 134 (2004)6. - ISSN 0022-3166 - p. 1481 - 1486.
volatile fatty-acids - free-feeding rats - pregnant sows - stereotypic behavior - growing pigs - gilts - polysaccharides - carbohydrate - performance - fractions
The aim of this study was to test whether a diet with a high level of fermentable dietary fiber can stabilize interprandial blood glucose and insulin levels, prevent declines below basal levels, and reduce physical activity in limited-fed breeding sows. Stable levels of glucose and insulin may prevent interprandial feelings of hunger and, consequently, increased activity. Catheterized sows (n = 10) were fed twice daily (0700 and 1900 h) 900 g of a diet with either a low (L-sows) or a high level of fermentable dietary fiber (H-sows; sugarbeet pulp). Blood samples, taken between feeding times, were analyzed for glucose and insulin levels (basal and area under the curve) and stability of levels (variance and sum of absolute differences between levels in consecutive samples). The main focus was on samples taken after the postprandial peak. Behavior was videotaped for analysis of postures and posture changes. Basal glucose and insulin levels did not differ between treatments. H-sows had more stable levels than L-sows. Interprandial levels of H-sows were higher than or equal to basal levels. L-sows showed a decline in glucose below basal levels at 1400 h (P <0.05). Before 1400 h, no difference in the frequency of posture changes was observed between treatments. After 1400 h, the frequency of posture changes increased more in L-sows than in H-sows. We concluded that sugarbeet pulp as a source of fermentable dietary fiber stabilizes glucose and insulin levels and reduces physical activity in limited-fed sows several hours after feeding. This may indicate a prolonged feeling of satiety.
Backtest type and housing condition of pigs influence energy metabolism
Geverink, N.A. ; Heetkamp, M.J.W. ; Schouten, W.G.P. ; Wiegant, V.M. ; Schrama, J.W. - \ 2004
Journal of Animal Science 82 (2004)4. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 1227 - 1233.
environment interactions - individual-differences - manual restraint - breeding gilts - pregnant sows - coping styles - laying hens - behavior - system - physiology
The behavioral response of piglets in a backtest early in life seems indicative of their coping strategy at a later age. Coping characteristics may depend on the interaction between backtest classification and housing conditions. We studied whether growth rate and partitioning of energy in adult gilts were related to response in the backtest early in life, and to housing in groups or individual stalls. During the suckling period, female piglets were subjected to the backtest. Each piglet was restrained on its back for 1 min, and the number of escape attempts was scored. Thirty-six high-resisting gilts and 36 low-resisting gilts were selected. After weaning, pigs were housed in 12 groups of six (three high-resisting and three low-resisting). From 7 mo of age onward, 36 gilts out of six groups were housed in individual stalls, whereas the other gilts remained group housed. At 13 mo of age, gilts were housed in clusters of three (three high-resisting or three low-resisting) for an experimental period of 7 d in climatic respiration chambers. Group-housed gilts were loose housed, and stall-housed gilts were housed in stalls within the chamber. Despite the fact that high-resisting and low-resisting gilts did not differ (P = 0. 269) in initial BW, low-resisting gilts showed a higher (P = 0.039) ADG during the experimental period in association with a higher (P = 0.043) energy metabolizability. This suggests that, in line with the theory on coping strategies, high-resisting gilts may have more difficulties in adapting to a change in environment, (i.e., the change from home pen to climatic chamber). Group-and stall-housed gilts differed (P = 0.001) in initial BW, with group-housed gilts being heavier. During the experimental period, stall-housed gilts showed lower energy metabolizability (P = 0.001), lower energy retention (P = 0.001), and a higher energy requirement for maintenance (P = 0. 001) due to a higher activity-related heat production (P = 0.001). This finding suggests that stall housing might have a negative influence on performance and partitioning of energy when animals are adapting to a change in their environment.
Performance and individual feed intake characteristics of group-housed sows fed a nonstarch polysaccharides diet ad libitum during gestation over three parities
Peet-Schwering, C.M.C. van der; Kemp, B. ; Plagge, J.G. ; Vereijken, P.F.G. ; Hartog, L.A. den; Spoolder, H.A.M. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2004
Journal of Animal Science 82 (2004)4. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 1246 - 1257.
primiparous lactating sows - reproductive-performance - body-composition - pregnant sows - fiber - nutrition - behavior - weight - pigs - level
The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of feeding group-housed gestating sows a diet with a high level of fermentable nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP; approximately 45% sugar beet pulp as fed) ad libitum on the development in individual feed intake characteristics and reproductive performance during three successive reproduction cycles. Performance of the ad libitum-fed sows was compared to the performance of sows that were fed a conventional diet restrictedly. Feed intake characteristics during gestation were only measured in the ad libitum-fed sows. One hundred and nineteen sows were assigned to one of two gestation feeding regimens. Gestating sows were fed a conventional Dutch diet restrictedly or a diet with a high level of fermentable NSP ad libitum. During lactation, sows were given free access to a commercial lactation diet from d 6 after parturition onward. The ad libitum-fed sows ate 1.3 kg/d more during gestation than the restrictedly fed sows (P <0.001), resulting in higher body weight and backfat gains during gestation (P <0.05). Sows that were fed ad libitum during gestation lost more body weight and backfat during lactation (P <0.001) than sows that were fed restrictedly during gestation. Feed intake during lactation, however, did not differ between sows that were fed restrictedly or ad libitum during gestation. The numbers of total piglets born, live-born and stillborn piglets, piglet birth weight, weaning-to-estrus interval, and percentage of sows that returned to estrus after first insemination were not affected by gestation feeding regimen. Mean daily voluntary feed intake (as-fed basis) over the three reproduction cycles in the ad libitum-fed gestating sows was 4.2 kg/d. Depending on the number of preceding reproduction cycles during which a sow was fed ad libitum, the maximum voluntary feed intake was reached in Parity 3, 4, or 5 and then remained stable in subsequent parities. Mean daily feed intake of the ad libitum-fed sows increased from wk 2 to 6 of gestation and then decreased to wk 15 of gestation. The mean number of daily visits with feed intake over the three reproduction cycles was 13.8. On average, ad libitum-fed sows spent 90 min/d on eating. This study shows that it is possible to feed gestating sows a diet with a high level of fermentable NSP ad libitum during three successive reproduction cycles without negative effects on reproductive performance.
Effects of feeding level and the presence of a foraging substrate on the behaviour and stress physiological response of individually housed gilts
Leeuw, J.A. de; Ekkel, E.D. - \ 2004
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 86 (2004)1-2. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 15 - 25.
pregnant sows - food level - straw - pigs - performance - fiber - stereotypies - restriction - provision
The effects of feeding level (unrestricted, UR and restricted, R) and the presence of a foraging substrate (no substrate, NS and substrate, S; wood chips on the floor) on both the behaviour and stress physiological response were studied in a 2 x 2 factorial design. In three batches and two rooms, 96 sows were individually housed in 3.1 m(2) pens with 60% solid floor. Behaviour was scan-sampled in three 2 It periods between feeding times on I day in weeks 8-12. In addition, video recordings (24 h) in week 12 or 13 were scan-sampled for 'standing'. Salivary cortisol (every 2h during 24h) was measured in week11 and urinary catecholamines (adrenaline/creatinine and noradrenaline/creatinine ratios) were determined in morning-urine samples in weeks 2, 7 and 12 or 13. Feeding level had a significant effect on most of the behavioural elements observed. In general, R-animals stood more (pooled results of three periods: 31.3% versus 13.2%; P <0.001) and showed more visible oral behaviour (42.8% versus 23.6%; P <0.001) than UR-animals (in period 3 NS-animals only). This included more pen manipulation, floor manipulation, sham chewing and other oral behaviour (e.g. teeth grinding). With restricted feeding, NS-animals showed more visible oral behaviour than S-animals (periods I and 3). S-animals showed more floor (substrate) manipulation, whereas NS-animals showed more pen manipulation and sham chewing (in periods I and 3 R-animals only). In contrast to behaviour, stress physiological parameters were predominantly influenced by substrate. NS-animals had higher circadian salivary cortisol levels (24 h average: 2.54 ng/ml versus 0.97 ng/ml; P <0.01) and higher noradrenaline/creatinine ratios in weeks 7 (5.6 ng/mg versus 4.1 ng/mg; P <0.01) and 12 (P <0.05). In week 2, NS-animals differed from S-animals, only with unrestricted feeding. No treatment effects were found on adrenaline/creatinine ratios, probably because animals were not exposed to acute stressors. Lower cortisol and noradrenaline levels could indicate a positive effect of substrate on welfare, but chewing on substrate may have any unknown physiological effects (e.g. dilution of saliva). In conclusion, behavioural results imply that a high feeding level can more effectively improve welfare of sows than the presence of wood chips on the floor. Stress physiological parameters, however, imply that the presence of wood chips can improve the welfare of sows to a certain extent, even when feed is offered ad libitum. Substrate manipulation may indicate an intrinsic need to express foraging or explorative behaviour. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Measuring and monitoring animal welfare: Transparency in the food product quality chain
Blokhuis, H.J. ; Jones, R.B. ; Geers, R. ; Miele, M. ; Veissier, I. - \ 2003
Animal Welfare 12 (2003)4. - ISSN 0962-7286 - p. 445 - 455.
decision-support system - pregnant sows - stress - hens
Animal welfare is of increasing significance for European consumers and citizens. Previously, agricultural production focused mainly on supply, price and competition but consumers now expect their food to be produced and processed with greater respect for the welfare of the animals. Food quality is therefore determined by the welfare status of the animals from which it was produced as well as the nature and safety of the end product. Thus, practical welfare improvement strategies and reliable on-farm monitoring systems for assessing the animals' welfare status and evaluating potential risks are urgently required to accommodate societal concerns and market demands. It is also of paramount importance to define the kind of information that consumers want about the final products and to develop effective strategies for communicating welfare standards to the public. Generating an intensified dialogue with all factions of society on welfare issues as well as appropriate labelling of animal products and farming systems that offer guarantees about welfare issues and production conditions will, in turn, promote transparency and the societal sustainability of European agriculture. Welfare is multidimensional. It cannot be measured directly but only inferred from external parameters. Therefore, the integration of the most appropriate specialist expertise in Europe is essential to develop, refine, standardise and intercalibrate welfare monitoring systems and to identify and validate remedial measures. We must establish a European standard for welfare assessment systems in order to facilitate intra-European trade and marketing. Only then can we harmonise labelling that is informative and relevant to all European consumers.
Effects of floor-feeding and the presence of a foraging substrate on the behaviour and stress physiological response of individually housed gilts
Leeuw, J.A. de; Ekkel, E.D. ; Jongbloed, A.W. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2003
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 80 (2003)4. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 297 - 310.
circadian-rhythm - growing pigs - stereotypic behavior - salivary cortisol - pregnant sows - female pigs - straw - performance - provision - fiber
Both restricted feeding and barren housing have a negative influence on sow welfare. The aim of this study was to test whether sows that have to search for their feed in a substrate on the floor show less stereotyped (and other abnormal) behaviour and have a lower physiological stress response. In three batches, 96 gilts were housed individually in two rooms in 3.1 m2 pens with 1.9 m2 solid floor. In a 2×2 factorial design either wood shavings (S) or no substrate (NS) were provided on the floor, and 900 g of feed was provided twice daily (06:30 and 15:00 h) either in a trough (T) or on the floor (F). In weeks 8¿12, behaviour was scan-sampled once in the periods 07:00¿09:00 h (P1), 10:00¿12:00 h (P2), and 13:00¿15:00 h (P3). Data from the 5 weeks were pooled per animal. Video recordings (24 h) in week 12 or 13 were scan-sampled for `standing¿. Saliva samples were taken in week 11 at 2 h intervals during 24 h and measured for cortisol. Spontaneously voided morning-urine was sampled in weeks 2, 7 and 12 or 13 for determination of ratios of adrenaline (A) and noradrenaline (NA) with creatinine (CR). Most effects that were found were due to substrate presence. Main findings were that compared with S-animals, NS-animals stood more during the dark period (4.8% versus 3.0%; P
Development of stereotypic behaviour in sows fed a starch diet or a non-starch polysaccharide diet during gestation and lactation over two parities
Peet-Schwering, C.M.C. van der; Spoolder, H.A.M. ; Kemp, B. ; Binnendijk, G.P. ; Hartog, L.A. den; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2003
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 83 (2003)2. - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 81 - 97.
high-fiber diets - pregnant sows - feeding motivation - food - animals - pigs
The effect of feeding sows a starch diet or a diet with a high level of fermentable non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) during gestation, lactation or both gestation and lactation over the first two parities on the development of stereotypic behaviour was studied in sows housed in groups during gestation and individually during lactation. A total of 119 postpubertal gilts were allotted to a 2 x 2 factorial experiment. Treatments were diet composition during gestation (G-Starch: 274 g/kg starch and 123 g/kg fermentable NSP or G-NSP: 86 g/kg starch and 300 g/kg fermentable NSP) and diet composition during lactation (L-Starch: 293 g/kg starch and 113 g/kg fermentable NSP or L-NSP: 189 g/kg starch and 216 g/kg fermentable NSP). Sows on both gestation diets were fed iso-energetic. During lactation, sows were given free access to the lactation diets. Behavioural measurements were carried out in weeks 3, 12 and 15 after start of the experiment or after weaning in parity 1 and 2 sows, respectively, 3 days before the expected date of parturition and 1 week before weaning in the first 3 h after the morning meal using a scan-sampling technique. Feeding group-housed sows a diet high in fermentable NSP during gestation reduced the frequency of total non-feeding oral activities (=sham chewing + other non-feeding oral activities) in gestation compared with a starch diet (P <0.001 and
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