Determining Effective Enrichments for Group Housed Sows
Providing enrichment involves making changes to the environment that are intended to increase the range of normal Behaviours and improve the biological functioning and well-being of animals. Enrichment in group housing systems has the potential to significantly improve animal welfare by reducing aggression and injuries, stimulating exercise and the expression of species specific behaviours. However, when one enrichment is used continuously, habituation results and the enrichment can become less effective.
Initial behavioural results indicate that regardless of the enrichment treatment provided, sows spent similar amounts of time in enriched areas of the pen. Sows spent more time contacting and near the enrichment when
materials were rotated than constant. Sows in the ROTATE treatment spent the most time within 1 metre of the enrichments on day 10 when straw was provided.