Articles | Volume 51, issue 5
10 Oct 2008
 | 10 Oct 2008

Untersuchungen zum Beschäftigungsverhalten von weiblichen und kastrierten männlichen Mastschweinen

A. Elkmann and S. Hoy

Abstract. Title of the paper: Investigation on occupational behaviour of female and castrated male fattening pigs
In four rounds 144 fattening pigs of both sexes were brought in four pens (two of them were littered, two without any litter). Their occupational behaviour was recorded at the time of bringing the pigs into the pen, at the beginning, at the middle and at the end of the fattening period using an infrared-video-technology and a time lapse video recorder. In every pen three occupational tools (pendular beam, cross of chains and lifting beam) were offered to the pigs. At the 1st recording the behaviour of all pigs was analysed, at the other fattening periods the behaviour of six focal pigs of both sexes per pen was analysed always over 24 h. At the time the pigs were brought into the pens no significant differences between the two sexes could be observed concerning the latency until the pigs had the first contact to the different occupational tools, whereas both sexes needed longest for their first contact to the cross of chains. During the other fattening periods the duration of occupation with the cross of chains (♂=0.06 %; ♀=0.08 %, p<0.086) and the pendular beam (♂=0.15 %; ♀=0.2 %, p<0.087) by the female pigs tended to be longer than the one shown by the castrated male pigs. Thereby both sexes used the cross of chains longer for occupation than the pendular beam and the lifting beam. The female pigs occupied themselves significantly longer with the straw in the littered pens, the floor in the pens without straw, the pen’s equipment and the pen mates than the castrated male pigs did. In contrast the castrated males used the trough significantly longer for occupation. In this study female pigs were more active, whereas the castrated male pigs spent a significantly longer time feeding and tended to spend more time lying and had better daily gains.