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Title: Reproductive behaviour of pigs in a dynamic service system
Author: Grigoriadis, Dimitris F.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3520 8088
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2000
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The behaviour, welfare and reproductive efficiency of sexually mature pigs kept in groups rather than singly has recently become important because of new EU legislation to ban sow stalls and tethers. Four studies were undertaken to examine the behavioural, welfare and economic implications of a Dynamic Service System (DSS) for gilts. The DSS is a semiintensive variant of 'group mating'. In DSS, the female population is changed on a regular basis while the boars, forming a team, are resident. In total, 1402 gilts and 38 boar teams were used to establish behavioural parameters and reproductive output (i.e. conception rate and litter size) in such a system. The behaviour of the sexual partners was continuously recorded for 6,288 hours (i.e. 262 days). The results indicated that male sexual behaviour differed significantly between and within boar teams. Social dominance failed to significantly affect male sexual behaviour and a comparison of the male social and sexual hierarchies showed that they were poorly correlated. Gilt reproductive behaviour and performance were not affected by the number of heat periods experienced prior to service, at a controlled age. There were no detrimental influences on gilt productivity of halving the size of the boar teams from 4 to 2 individuals. Overall, the reproductive performance of gilts in a DSS was at least as good as in other conventional mating systems. The Dynamic Service System was shown to be compatible with good welfare and acceptable behavioural patterns, and is clearly a valuable alternative in future pig production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Swine