Impact of Enrichment on the Behavior of Sows Housed in Groups

Drs. Ventura and Zhitnitskiy, faculty members in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota recently published a new article regarding the influence of point-source enrichment on the behavior of gestating sows housed in groups. The article is available in open-access on the Frontiers in Animal Science website.

Key Points

  • Most common observed behaviors were sows being inactive (73%), followed by sham-chewing (16%). Enrichment use made up only 1% of observations.
  • Number of observed interactions with enrichment decreased sharply on the second day.
  • Low-parity sows, moderately-lame sows, and sham-chewing sows interacted more with the enrichment.
  • No increase in adverse effects (agonistic behaviors, sham-chewing) was observed.
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