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See detailEffects of space allowance on the welfare of dry sows kept in dynamic groups and fed with an electronic sow feeder
Remience, Virginie; Wavreille, José; Canart, Bernard et al

in Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2008), 112(3-4), 284-296

The minimal legal space allowance for grouped pregnant sows in the EU is 2.25 m(2)/sow. The effect of higher space per animal on agonistic behaviour and social stress of animals living in dynamic groups ... [more ▼]

The minimal legal space allowance for grouped pregnant sows in the EU is 2.25 m(2)/sow. The effect of higher space per animal on agonistic behaviour and social stress of animals living in dynamic groups is not known. Two groups of 34 pregnant Belgian Landrace sows were housed in two pens of respectively 102 m(2) (3 m(2)/sow) and 76.5 m(2) (2.25 m(2)/sow). Each sow lived there for 15 weeks. Sows were fed through an electronic sow feeder. According to the dynamic system, one third of each group (i.e. 11 or 12 nearly parturient sows) was replaced every 5 weeks by the same number of recently inseminated sows. Welfare indicators were collected during six of these 5 week-periods: performance, agonistic behaviour, skin lesion score and salivary cortisol. No differences were observed for production parameters, or for fighting activity. However, the mean number of one-way aggressions, when observed during 2 h-periods at 3 and 8 days after grouping, was significantly lower in the large pen than in the small one (respectively 16 +/- 2 versus 26 +/- 3, p < 0.01, and 10 +/- 2 versus 20 +/- 5, p < 0.05). The mean number of injuries was also lower with the 3 m(2) space allowance, when collected on the introduced sows one, 2 and 3 weeks after grouping. Some contradictory differences in salivary cortisol were noted 2 and 26 h after mixing, but without reaching statistical significance. An available area 33% higher than the EU legal minimum reduced agonistic behaviour and consecutive wounds and thus induced better welfare conditions for sows living in dynamic groups and fed with an electronic sow feeder. The impact on productivity and social physiological stress need further research. [less ▲]

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See detailLes fibres dans l’alimentation des truies gestantes : effets sur la nutrition, le comportement, les performances et les rejets dans l’environnement
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Remience, Virginie; Dourmard et al

in Productions Animales (2008), 21(3), 277-290

Feeding gestating sows with high fibre diets (HFD) helps induce satiety without excessive energy intake. Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) (15-20%) enables sows to adapt their feed intake to their needs ... [more ▼]

Feeding gestating sows with high fibre diets (HFD) helps induce satiety without excessive energy intake. Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) (15-20%) enables sows to adapt their feed intake to their needs. Therefore, ad libitum feeding becomes possible, reducing the costs of feeding equipment. Fibre effect on the feeling of satiety is due among others to the higher amount of feed intake, the increase of eating time and delay in gastric emptying. Sow welfare improvement due to the feeling of satiety has for consequence a reduction in the occurrence of stereotypes and aggressions. The disadvantage of HFD feeding is linked to a reduction of cell component accessibility to digestive and microbial enzymes. However, energy efficiency of fibre degradation is better for sows than for growing pigs. If the amount of feed offered takes into account the reduction in energy digestibility, sow performance is not affected. Besides, the increased capacity of the digestive tract may result in an increased capacity of the digestive tract may result in an increased feed intake during early lactation, supporting higher milk production and limiting the body reserve mobilisation. On the environmental level, increasing fibre content reduces ammonia emissions but increases methane emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of stress level in horses (Equus caballus): behavioural and physiological measurements in hospital.
Peeters, Marie ULg; Péters, F.; Sulon, J. et al

Conference (2008)

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See detailCaractérisation de l'occupation d'un espace extérieur par des truies gestantes élevées en groupe en loges paillées.
Remience, Virginie; Wavreille, José; Canart, Bernard et al

in 40èmes Journées de la Recherche Porcine (2008)

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See detailGaseous emissions during the fattening of pigs kept either on fully slatted floor or on straw flow
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Canart, Bernard et al

in Animal (2007), 1(1), 1515-1523

The aim of this study was to compare the environmental impact of the straw-flow system for fattening pigs with the slatted-floor system by measuring pollutant gas emissions such as ammonia (NH3), nitrous ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to compare the environmental impact of the straw-flow system for fattening pigs with the slatted-floor system by measuring pollutant gas emissions such as ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), manure nitrogen (N) content and emissions of water vapour (H2O). Three successive batches of 32 pigs were fattened. For each batch, pigs were allotted to two groups raised in separated rooms fitted either with a concrete totally slatted-floor system (0.75 m(2) per pig) or with a straw-flow system (0.79 m(2) per pig). With this last system, pigs were kept on a sloped floor, straw being provided daily at the top of the pen. Throughout the fattening period, about 34.4 kg of straw were supplied per pig. The straw, mixed with dung, travelled down the slope by pig motion and went out of the pen to a scraped passage. The solid fraction was scraped every day, stored in a heap in the room and removed every month, 1 week before each period of gaseous emission measurement. The liquid fraction was automatically pumped from the scraped passage into a hermetic tank, which was emptied at the end of each fattening period. Rooms were ventilated mechanically in order to maintain a constant ambient temperature. Once a month, the emissions of NH3, N2O, CH4, CO2 and H2O were measured hourly for 6 consecutive days via infrared photoacoustic detection. Mean daily emissions per pig fattened on the slatted floor or on the sloped floor were, respectively, 4.98 and 13.31 g NH3, 0.67 and 0. 68 g N2O, 15.2 and 8.88 g CH4, 548 g and 406 g CO2 equivalents, 1.61 and 1.77 kg CO2 and 2.33 and 2.95 kg H2O. Except for N2O emissions, all the differences were statistically significant (P < 0.001). From the slatted-floor system, the amount of slurry removed per fattening period was on average 256 kg per pig. From the straw-flow system, solid manure amounted on average to 209 kg per pig and liquid manure to 53 kg per pig. The total N-content of the manure was 2.23 kg N per pig with the straw-flow system (solid and liquid manure) v. 3.26 kg N per pig for slurry from the slatted-floor system. This reduction of 30% observed with the sloped floor was mainly explained by the higher level of NH3-N emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe welfare of farmed pigs
Meunier-Salaun, Marie-Claude; Bizeray, D.; Colson, V. et al

in Productions Animales (2007), 20(1), 73-80

The current intensive system of pig production is the outcome of better control of the environment, prevention of infectious disease, a feeding strategy adapted to the nutritional needs of pigs, and ... [more ▼]

The current intensive system of pig production is the outcome of better control of the environment, prevention of infectious disease, a feeding strategy adapted to the nutritional needs of pigs, and genetic selection oriented towards increased growth and reproductive performances. Meanwhile, certain practices have been shown to be detrimental to pig welfare. During the last few decades, research conducted on pig welfare has mainly been oriented towards measurement of behavioural and physiological responses to housing, feeding and management practices. The results have demonstrated the animals' difficulties to adapt to their conditions, particularly regarding changes in social relationships, impoverishment of the environment, restriction of space, and the development of management practices leading to discomfort, fear or pain. This review presents a summary of the scientific research conducted on the consequences of husbandry conditions and management practices on pig welfare. Finally, some possible solutions are presented for improving pig welfare by providing greater harmony between the animals and their environment. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions during the fattening of pigs, kept either on fully slatted floor or on deep litter
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Canart, Bernard et al

in Livestock Science (2007), 111(1-2), 144-152

Five successive batches of fattening pigs were raised, each during a four month period, on a totally concrete slatted floor in one experimental room and on straw based deep litter in another. The rooms ... [more ▼]

Five successive batches of fattening pigs were raised, each during a four month period, on a totally concrete slatted floor in one experimental room and on straw based deep litter in another. The rooms were automatically ventilated to maintain a constant ambient temperature. Available floor space was of 0.75 in m(2) per pig kept on the slatted floor and 1.20 m(2) per pig kept on the deep litter. With this last system, about 46 kg of straw were supplied per pig throughout a fattening period. The slurry pit was emptied and the litter removed after each batch. Once a month, the emissions of ammonia (NH3) nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O) were measured continuously for 6 consecutive days by infra-red. photoacoustic detection. The performance of the animals was not significantly different according to the floor type. Gaseous emissions from pigs raised on the slatted floor and on the deep litter were, respectively, 6.2 and 13.1 g per pig per day for NH3, 0.54 and 1.11 g per pig per day for N2O, 16.3 and 16.0 g per pig per day for CH4, 1.74 and 1.97 kg per pig per day for CO2 and 2.48 and 3.70 kg per pig per day for H2O. Except for the CH4 emissions, all the differences were significant (P<0.001). Thus, pig fattening on deep litter releases nearly 20% more greenhouse gases than on slatted floor, with 2.64 and 2.24 kg of CO2 equivalents, respectively (P<0.001). Whatever the floor type, emissions increased from the beginning to the end of the fattening periods by about 5 times for NH3, 4 times for N2O, 3 times for CH4 and 2 times for CO2 and H2O. Correlation coefficients between CO2-emissions and H2O, NH3 and CH4 emissions were, on average for both floor types, 0.82, 0.77 and 0.74, respectively. Although rearing pigs on straw generally has a good brand image for the consumer, this rearing system produces more pollutant gases than keeping pigs on slatted floors. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailEffets du moment de regroupement par rapport au début du cycle alimentaire sur le bien-être de truies en groupes dynamiques et alimentées au Distributeur Automatique de Concentré (DAC)
Remience, Virginie; Wavreille, José; Cloet, D. et al

in 39èmes Journées de la Recherche Porcine (2007)

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See detailPrécision de l'estimation de l'âge des chevaux par l'examen des dents: résultats d'une étude sur des juments de Trait belge
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Delfontaine, B.; Claveau, C. et al

in Annales de Médecine Vétérinaire (2007), 151(1), 6-14

The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of judging age from teeth, with standard aging guides, of mares from 2 to 20 years old registered in the Belgian draft horse stud-book. The replacement of ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of judging age from teeth, with standard aging guides, of mares from 2 to 20 years old registered in the Belgian draft horse stud-book. The replacement of the deciduous incisors by permanent teeth occurred when expected as the disappearance of the infundibulum on the permanent lower intermediate incisors. The disappearance of the infundibulum was however observed until 16 months earlier than expected on the central incisors and until 18 months later on the corner incisors with 64 % and 50 % of the concerned mares respectively. The modifications of the shape of the occlusal tables from oval to round occurred from 1 to 4 years earlier than expected. The risk to attribute an older age than the true age during the so called round period is lower when taking into account the disappearance of the cup cement leaving only an enamel spot on the occlusal table surface. The modifications of the shape of the incisor tables from round to triangular and to biangular was also observed earlier than expected but only with the central and intermediate incisors, not with the corner incisors. The measurement on photographs of the profile angle of the corner incisors confirmed that this angle decreases with age from about 134 degrees at about 5 years to about 72 degrees at 20 years. Statistical analyses of the differences between real ages and those estimated on pictures by a college of three experts, show that ageing horses from their dentition is more accurate for animals of 8 years old or less, than for older ones. For those animals, the overestimation was about 10 % of the real age. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of a reduction of diet crude protein content on gaseous emissions from deep-litter pens for fattening pigs
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Canart, Bernard et al

in Animal Research (2006), 55(5), 397-407

Two successive batches of 32 fattening pigs per batch were each divided into 2 homogenous groups of 16 pigs fed either a high crude protein (CP) level diet (HP-groups) or a low crude protein level diet ... [more ▼]

Two successive batches of 32 fattening pigs per batch were each divided into 2 homogenous groups of 16 pigs fed either a high crude protein (CP) level diet (HP-groups) or a low crude protein level diet balanced with synthetic amino acids (LP-groups). Pigs were raised on straw-based deep litters in separate rooms according to diets. Once a month, the emissions of ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O) were measured continuously for 6 days consecutively. The mean nitrogen (N) intakes of pigs from HP-groups and LP-groups were 6.83 kg and 5.78 kg per pig respectively with mean initial and final pig body weights of 26.6 and 111.4 kg. There was no significant difference between the daily weight gains with regards to the diet CP content. At the end of the fattening periods, the N-contents of the litters were on average 1.84 kg per pig for the HP-groups and 1.56 kg per pig for the LP-groups. Gaseous emissions in the room with LP-groups were, compared with the emissions in the room with HP-groups, 26.1% lower for NH3 (10.60 vs. 14.35 g per pig per day), 12.8% lower for CH4 (13.12 vs. 15.04 g per pig per day) and 2 times higher for N2O (1.02 vs. 0.52 g per pig per day). The emissions of CO2 and H2O were not significantly different according to the diet CP level. [less ▲]

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See detailComparaison des performances zootechniques et du contenu en azote de l'effluent lors de l'élevage de porcs charcutiers sur caillebotis ou sur litière de paille accumulée.
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Vandenheede, Marc ULg et al

in Annales de Médecine Vétérinaire (2006), 150(2), 137-144

Two identical rooms were arranged to house fattening pigs on a fully-slatted floor in one and on a straw-based deep litter in the other one. Each room was ventilated with an exhausted fan and the ... [more ▼]

Two identical rooms were arranged to house fattening pigs on a fully-slatted floor in one and on a straw-based deep litter in the other one. Each room was ventilated with an exhausted fan and the ventilation rates were adapted to have the same temperatures in the two rooms. Six successive batches of 16 pigs per pen were raised. The slurry pit was emptied and the litter removed after each fattening period. The mean daily weight gains of the pigs raised on slatted floor and on deep litter were of 742 and 729 g/day, the food conversion ratios 3.0 and 3.1 kg/kg, the lean meat percentages 59.8 and 60.0 % and the prices at slaughter 1.06 and 1.04 E/kg live weight, respectively. None of the differences was statistically significant. The amounts of slurry and manure produced were 290 and 187 kg per fattening pig, corresponding to 3.04 and 2.06 kg nitrogen per fattening pig, respectively. These differences were significant. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of space allowance on the welfare of pregnant sows housed in dynamic groups.
Remience, Virginie; Wavreille, José; Cloet, D. et al

in Proceedings of the 40th International Congress of the Internationnal Society for Applied Ethology (2006)

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See detailCaractéristiques morphologiques des juments de Trait belge
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Delfontaine, Béatrice; Canart, Bernard et al

in Annales de Médecine Vétérinaire (2006), 150(4), 247-252

Belgian draft mares were measured when visiting their owners. The mean wither height of at least 4-year-old mares (n = 207) was 1.64 m and the girth circumference 2.22 m. Compared with the wither height ... [more ▼]

Belgian draft mares were measured when visiting their owners. The mean wither height of at least 4-year-old mares (n = 207) was 1.64 m and the girth circumference 2.22 m. Compared with the wither height, the hip height was 1 % higher (1.655 m) and the body length 8 % higher (1.775 m). The mean cannon circumference was about 30 cm. The wither height, the body length and the girth circumference of the 2-year-old mares ( n = 39) represented respectively 98 %, 96 % and 94 % of the corresponding measurements of the group of older mares ( at least 4 years old). The morphological characteristics of these last ones, compared with results published about 50 years ago, show that the wither height remained identical whereas body length and width seem to have slightly increased. [less ▲]

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See detailEpidémiologie de l’obésité canine en Belgique et en France
Lhoest, Estelle; Detilleux, Johann ULg; Vandenheede, Marc ULg et al

in Le Nouveau praticien vétérinaire (2005)

Etude épidémiologique de l'obésité canine auprès de 517 propriétaires de chiens de race prédisposée à l'obésité. Les facteurs favorisant l'obésité sont répertoriés et quantifiés

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See detailAn epidemiological study of canine obesity
Lhoest, E.; Detilleux, Johann ULg; Vandenheede, Marc ULg et al

Conference (2005)

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See detailGaseous emissions in the raising of weaned pigs on fully slatted floor or on sawdust-based deep litter
Nicks, Baudouin ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Proceedings of the International workshop on Green Pork Production (2005)

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