Main Article Content
Abnormal oral manipulation, such as tail-, ear-, and flank-biting are among the most serious behaviour problems in modern pig husbandry. They not only affect the welfare of animals, but also have economic consequences. The prevalence of tail-, ear-, and flank-bite damage was estimated in a 1200 sow farrow-to-finish commercial farm in Hungary were pigs grouped by age. A total of 16,023 individuals were observed, of which 4,679 were housed in the batteries and 11,344 were housed in the fattening barns. In the batteries, the prevalence of tail-bitten and ear-bitten piglets in the different age groups ranged from 2.6 to 15.18%, 10.77 to 56.87%, respectively. The likelihood of tail injuries increased with the age of the animals, while the likelihood of ear injuries gradually decreased with piglet’s age. No flank injuries were observed in piglets from the batteries. In the fattening barns, the prevalence of tail and ear injuries in the different age groups was between 2.73 and 6.1%, and between 3.38 and 58.16%, respectively. Flank biting appeared only in older animals, from 156 days of age, at a much lower frequency (1.96 to 3.26%) than the other injuries studied. Some elements of the housing and feeding technology applied in this farm could enhance the occurrence of abnormal oral bite behaviour in pigs. Changing from wet to granulate feed and replacing the grid flooring with solid flooring covered with straw litter could lead to a decline in the incidence of biting.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright of the published papers and grant to the publisher the right to publish the article, to be cited as its original publisher in case of reuse, and to distribute it in all forms and media. Articles will be distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).
Brunberg E. I., Rodenburg T. B., Rydhmer L., Kjaer J. B., Jensen P., Keeling L. J. 2016. Omnivores going astray: A review and new synthesis of abnormal behavior in pigs and laying hens. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 3, 57. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2016.00057
DSBD (Deutscher Schweine-Boniturschlüssel) Available at: https://www.fli.de/fileadmin/FLI/ITT/Deutscher_Schweine_Boniturschluessel_2017-06-30_de.pdf
European Food Safety Authority. 2007. Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on a request from Commission on the risks associated with tail biting in pigs and possible means to reduce the need for tail docking considering the different housing and husbandry systems. EFSA Journal, 611:1-13. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2007.611.
European Food Safety Authority. 2014. Scientific Opinion concerning a Multifactorial approach on the use of animal and non-animal-based measures to assess the welfare of pigs. EFSA Journal, 12(5):3702. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3702
Fraser A. F., Broom D. M. 1990. Farm animal behaviour and welfare. (Third Edition) Wallingford, CAB International.
Hunter E. J., Jones T. A., Guise H. J., Penny R. H. C. Hoste S. 2001. The relationship between tail bitingin pigs, docking procedure, and other management practices, The Veterinary Journal, 161:72–79. https://doi.org/10.1053/tvjl.2000.0520
Meer Y. vd, Gerrits W. J. J., Jansman A. J. M., Kemp B., Bolhuis J. E. 2017. A link between damaging behaviour in pigs, sanitary conditions, and dietary protein and amino acid supply. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0174688. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0174688
Mendl M. 1995. The social behaviour of non-lactating sows and its implications for managing sow aggression. Pig Veterinary Journal, 34:9–20.
Munsterhjelm C., Simola O., L. Keeling L., Valros A., M. Heinonen M. 2013. Health parameters in tail biters and bitten pigs in a case–control study. Animal, 7(5):814–821. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731112002194
Palander P. 2016. The tail biting pig - Nutritional and physiological approaches to understanding thebehavior. PhD-thesis, Univeristy of Helsinki, Finland
Palander P.A., Valros A., Heinonen M., Edwards S.A. 2012. Supplementary feed offered to a tail biting pen changes feeding behaviour, feed intake, growth and tail health of fattening pigs. In the 46th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology. Vienna, Austria. Wageningen Academic Publishers, p. 156.
Schrøder P. D., Simonsen H. B. 2001. Tail biting in pigs. The Veterinary Journal, 162:196-210. https://doi.org/10.1053/tvjl.2001.0605
Sinisalo A., Niemi J., Heinonen M., Valros A. 2012. Tail biting and production performance in fattening pigs. Livestock Science, 143:220-225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2011.09.019
Smulders D., Hautekiet V., Verbeke G., Geerst R. 2008. Tail and ear biting lesions in pigs: an epidemiological study. Animal Welfare, 17:61–69.
Stolba A., Wood-Gush D. G. M. 1989. The behaviour of pigs in a semi-natural environment. Animal Production, 48:419–425.
Sutherland M., Bryer P. J., Krebs N., McGlone J. J. 2009. The effect of method of tail docking on tail-biting behaviour and welfare of pigs. Animal Welfare, 18:561-570.
Sutherland M.A., Tucker C. B. 2011. The long and short of it: A review of tail docking in farm animals. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 135:179–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2011.10.015
Taylor N. R., Main D. C. J., Mendl M., Edwards S. A. 2010. Tail-biting: A new perspective. The Veterinary Journal, 186:137-147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.08.028
Temple D., Courboulay V., Velard A., Dalmau A., Manteca X. 2012. The welfare of growing pigs infive different production systems in France and Spain: assessment of health. Animal Welfare, 21:257 – 271. https://doi.org/10.7120/09627218.104.22.1687
Valros A., Heinonen M. 2015. Save the pig tail. Porcine Health Management, 1:2. https://doi.org/10.1186/2055-5660-1-2
Valros A., Ahlström S., Rintala H., Häkkinen T., Saloniemi, H. 2004. The prevalence of tail damage in slaughter pigs in Finland and associations to carcass condemnations, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A, Animal Science, 54(4):213-219. https://doi.org/10.1080/09064700510009234
Valros A., Munsterhjelm C., Hänninen L., Kauppinen T., Heinonen, M. 2016. Managing undocked pigs on-farm prevention of tail biting and attitudes towards tail biting and docking, Porcine Health Management 2, https://doi.org/10.1186/s40813-016-0020-7
van Putten G. 1969. An Investigation into tail-biting among fattening pigs. British Veterinary Journal, 125:511–517. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0007-1935(17)48710-0
van Staaveren N., Calderón Díaz, J. A., Garcia Manzanilla E., Hanlon A., Boyle L. A. 2018. Prevalence of welfare outcomes in the weaner and finisher stages of the production cycle on 31 Irish pig farms. Irish Veterinary Journal, 71, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13620-018-0121-5
Wallgren P., Lindahl E. 1996. The Influence of Tail Biting on Performance of Fattening Pigs. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 37:453-460. https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03548085
Zonderland J. J., Bracke M. B. M., den Hartog L. A., Kemp B., Spoolder H. A. M. 2010. Gender effects on tail damage development in single- or mixed-sex groups of weaned piglets. Livestock Science, 129(1-3):151–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2010.01.018
Zonderland J. J., Bosma B., Hoste R. 2011a. Report on the financial consequences of tail damage due to tail biting among pigs in conventional pig farms in the Netherlands. (Abstract) Livestock Research Wageningen UR report 543. ISSN 1570-8616.
Zonderland J. J., Kemp B., Bracke M. B. M., den Hartog L. A., Spoolder H. A. M. 2011b. Individual piglets contribution to the development of tail biting. Animal, 5:601-607. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731110002132
Zupan M., Janczak A. M., Framstad T., Zanella, A. J. 2012. The effect of biting tails and having tails bitten in pigs. Physiology and Behavior, 106:638-644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.04.025