Influence of social status on the welfare of sows in static and dynamic groups

Niamh O'Connell, V.E. Beattie, B.W. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Forty-eight Large White x Landrace multiparous sows were mixed into twelve groups of four animals after their piglets were weaned. These groups were defined as static, with no animals being added to or removed from the groups after their formation. Aggressive and submissive behaviours were recorded continuously for 9 h after the sows were mixed, and the sows were assigned high or low social status on the basis of their relative aggressiveness and success in aggressive interactions. After five weeks, each static group was mixed into a dynamic group of 40+/-2 sows for an 11-week period. Three static groups (ie 12 animals) at a time were added to the dynamic group at three-week intervals; the same number of animals was removed at these time-points in order to maintain the group number at 40+/-2. Injury levels increased significantly with the transition from static groups to the dynamic group (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Welfare
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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