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Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Averos X.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Averos X.,Agrocampus Ouest | Brossard L.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Brossard L.,Agrocampus Ouest | And 7 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2010

To obtain quantitative information that can be later used in animal welfare modelling, the relationship between the lying behaviour of growing-finishing pigs (initial body weight (BW) between 19 and 87 kg) and different factors related to the housing conditions, with a potential negative effect on their welfare, was studied by means of a meta-analytical approach. Data from 22 experiments reported in 21 scientific publications were collected. The space allowance, expressed on an allometric basis by means of a k-value (m 2/BW0.667), the group size (n) and the floor characteristics (fully and partly slatted v. non-slatted floor), as well as their significant two-way interactions were used as fixed effects, and the experiment was used as a random factor to take into account the interexperiment effect. Further regression analyses were performed on the predicted values of observations in order to improve the adjustment of data. A significant quadratic relationship was established between space allowance (k-value, P < 0.05; squared k-value, P < 0.01) and the percentage of time spent lying. A significant interaction between the k-value and the floor type was also found (P < 0.05), showing that the relationship between space allowance and lying behaviour is affected by the presence or absence of slats. Threshold k-values were obtained using broken-line analyses, being about 0.039 for slatted floors and almost double for non-slatted floors. Compared to other studies, these values suggest that the ability to rest as space availability decreases may be compromised before a reduced performance becomes apparent. Group size did not show a significant effect. Additional information should be added to the model, as further data become available, to adjust the proposed parameters as well as to try to include the effect of other important aspects such as that of ambient temperature. © 2009 The Animal Consortium. Source

Gourdine J.L.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | de Greef K.H.,Animal science Group of Wageningen UR | Rydhmer L.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Livestock Science | Year: 2010

Despite the societal and market attention, to our knowledge, there is no breeding program for outdoor pig production in which improvement in animal welfare is emphasized. In this study, a dam-line selected for an outdoor production system was simulated. The purpose was to investigate the opportunities for improving welfare through traditional selection methods. The genetic gain from simulated breeding programs was compared for three alternative scenarios: 1) a conventional scheme that improves production and reproduction traits (litter size, piglet mortality (PM), mean piglet weight at weaning, weaning-to-mating interval (WMI), average daily gain (ADG) from birth to 20kg, ADG from 20 to 100kg, and lean content); 2) extension of the first scenario with welfare considerations including leg condition of sows after first lactation (LEGw) and additional non-market values on PM and WMI; and 3) a breeding program for welfare in which genetic progress of traits important for welfare (mothering ability and sow longevity) was obtained by increasing the non-market values of LEGw, PM and WMI. The simulation showed that, compared with weights found in the literature, greater weights on LEGw, PM and WMI (approximately 3, 2 and 7 times higher, respectively) were required to avoid deterioration of these traits. The improvement of traits important to welfare was realized with a reduction in the genetic gain of production traits. Thus, the implementation of a breeding program for welfare in outdoor production requires other prerequisites than the market value of the genetic progress only. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Averos X.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Averos X.,Agrocampus Ouest | Brossard L.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Brossard L.,Agrocampus Ouest | And 7 more authors.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2010

To quantify the combined effect of housing conditions and environmental enrichment on the behaviour and performance of pigs, a meta-analysis was performed using information from 45 experiments in 42 published manuscripts. Multiple regression models were applied to evaluate the effects of space allowance per pig (k-value; m2/BW0.667), group size (n), floor characteristics (solid, partly, or totally slatted floor), bedding (presence or absence), and the number and presentation sequence of point-source objects (no object, one object, two simultaneous objects, two alternated objects, three or more simultaneous objects or three or more alternated objects) on the general activity, enrichment and object-directed exploratory behaviour, social behaviour, and productive performance. A non-linear relationship between space allowance per pig and time spent sitting and lying was found (P<0.10 and P<0.01 for the k-value and its quadratic term respectively). Total time spent in exploration increased with space allowance per pig when bedding was present (P<0.01), and time spent exploring other pen items decreased with increasing space allowance per pig if no bedding was provided (P<0.001). Total time spent in exploration increased with group size (P<0.001). The lowest predicted total exploration time (least squares mean±standard error) was found in the absence of bedding and point-source objects (13±3%; P<0.05), and the highest when bedding (18±3%) or point-source objects (19±3%) were present. Time exploring point-source objects was higher when different objects were provided (P<0.001). Suspended (P<0.05) and deformable (P<0.05) enrichment items increased the time spent manipulating them. Time spent exploring point-source objects was predicted to be higher in the absence of slats and bedding (32±6%; P<0.05), and lower when bedding (8±9%) or slats (12±4%) were present. Time engaged in negative social behaviours decreased in the presence of point-source objects (P<0.01), and increased with group size in the absence of bedding (P<0.001). Time engaged in positive social behaviours tended to decrease in the presence of point-source objects (P<0.10), and when space allowance per pig increased in the absence of bedding (P<0.10). Slight trends towards lower FCR were predicted when point-source objects (P<0.10) and bedding (P=0.10) were present. This information can be utilised in the determination of the general effects of production systems on the welfare of pigs as well as in the development of new production systems. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Hoogenboom R.,RIKILT Institute of Food Safety | Zeilmaker M.,RIVM National Institute of Public Health and the Environment | Eijkeren J.v.,RIVM National Institute of Public Health and the Environment | Kan K.,Animal science Group of Wageningen UR | And 3 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2010

At the end of 2004, during a routine monitoring project, high levels of PCDDs in milk from two farms were found. Using a bioassay and the congener patterns obtained by HRGC/HRMS, the source was traced back to the use of kaolinic clay for sorting potatoes in a production process of French fries. Rest products, especially peelings after scrubbing, were used as feed for dairy cows. Levels of PCCD/Fs in this product amounted to 44 ng WHO1998-TEQ kg-1 (88% dw). The maximum level observed in milk was 20 pg WHO1998-TEQ g-1 fat. A Physiologically Based PharmacoKinetic (PB-PK) model was used to model three data obtained before eliminating the source in order to estimate the starting time of the contamination of the cows, the steady-state level after prolonged contamination and the kinetics of the decrease in the levels after removal of the source. Samples of milk were continuously collected for several months showing a decrease to levels below the product limit of 3 pg WHO1998-TEQ g-1 fat within 2 months, in excellent agreement with the decrease predicted by the PB-PK model. Different batches of clay were sampled and analysed, showing varying levels of especially PCDDs. All clays were confirmed to be kaolinic clay using X-ray analysis. Other by-products used for animal feed were also contaminated and led to precautionary measures at a few hundred farms, especially pig farms. However, levels in other animal derived products like pig meat did not exceed the product limits. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Averos X.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Averos X.,Agrocampus Ouest | Averos X.,Tecnalia | Brossard L.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 7 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2012

A meta-analysis, using information from 45 experiments on growing-finishing pigs published in 39 manuscripts, was carried out to determine the simultaneous effects of the physical environment (space allowance, group size, flooring conditions, temperature, presence of enrichment), pig traits (initial body weight (BW) for each studied time interval, sex, genetics), feeder characteristics (water provision within the feeder, feeder design (individual/collective), feeder places/pig, presence of feeder protection) and feed characteristics (feed allowance (ad libitum/restricted), net energy content, crude protein (CP) content), as well as their potential interactions, on the feeding behaviour and performance of growing-finishing pigs. The detrimental effect of low temperature on performance was particularly evident for restricted-fed pigs (P < 0.05). At reduced feeder space allowance, a reduction in the percentage of time spent eating was predicted when increasing initial BW, whereas the opposite was predicted for larger feeder space allowances (P < 0.001). The reduction in visit duration to the feeder in higher BW groups became gradually more important with increasing feeder space allowance (P < 0.01), whereas the increase in the ingestion rate and average daily feed intake (ADFI) with increasing initial BW became smaller with increasing feeder space (P < 0.05). The model predicted a reduction in feed conversion ratio (FCR) with increasing group size (P < 0.05) and floor space allowance (P < 0.01) and on solid floors with or without bedding (P < 0.05). In comparison with other feeders, wet/dry feeders were associated with more frequent but shorter feeder visits (P < 0.05), higher ingestion rates (P < 0.001) and higher ADFI (P < 0.10). The use of protection within individual feeders increased the time spent feeding (P < 0.001), reduced the number of visits per day (P < 0.01), the ingestion rate (P < 0.001) and FCR (P < 0.01) in comparison with other feeder types. Sex modulated the effect of the number of feeder places/pig on FCR (P < 0.05), with a gradual reduction of FCR in entire males and females when increasing feeder space allowance. Genetics tended to modulate the effect of dietsâ CP content on FCR (P < 0.10). Overall, these results may contribute to the improvement of the welfare and performance of growing-finishing pigs by a better knowledge of the influence of the rearing environment and may help optimize the feeding strategies in current production systems. © Copyright The Animal Consortium 2012. Source

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