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Levels of aggression in floor fed sows: effects of straw bedding and high fibre diets

  • X. Whittaker (a1) (a2), S. A. Edwards (a1), H. A. M. Spoolder (a2), A. B. Lawrence (a1) and S. Corning (a2)...


In competitive feeding systems in which sows are group rather than individually fed, aggression can arise as sows compete for limited supplies of food (Csermely and Wood-Gush, 1990). Aggression may also occur as a result of sows’ motivation to feed remaining unsatisfied due to restricted access to food (Buré, 1991). Feeding sows a high fibre diet which will rapidly increase gastric distention (Brouns et al., 1997) may reduce both the motivation to compete for food and aggression associated with sustained feeding motivation. Sows provided with straw bedding may use straw as a foraging substrate with which to express their foraging behaviour. The aim of this experiment was to investigate the interactive effects of a high fibre diet and straw bedding on levels of aggression in floor fed sows.



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Brouns, F., Edwards, S. A. and English, P. R. 1997. The effect of dietary inclusion of sugar-beet pulp on the feeding behaviour of dry sows. Anim. Sci., 65: 129133.
Buré, R G. 1991. The influence on vulva biting of supplying additional roughage in an electronic sow feeder. 42nd Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Berlin 1991.
Csermely, D. and Wood-Gush, D. G. M. 1990. Agonistic behaviour in grouped sows. II How social rank affects feeding and drinking behaviour. Boll. Zool., 57: 5558.
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Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science
  • ISSN: 1752-7562
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-british-society-of-animal-science
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