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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


TELES, Mariele Cristina et al. Effects of coffee husk as floor covering on the behavior of boars. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2017, vol.46, n.12, pp.883-889. ISSN 1806-9290.

The objective was to evaluate the influence of coffee husks as floor covering on the aspects of animal welfare such as behavioral characteristics, body surface temperature, and salivary cortisol levels of stabled boars. Sixteen boars were housed in individual stalls; eight were maintained in a conventional system with a concrete floor and eight were maintained on a concrete floor lined with coffee husks. The experimental period was 60 days. All animals were filmed two days prior to the start of the experiment, on both the 7th and 60th days after exposure to coffee husks, and finally two days after the removal of the material. During this period, the number of times that the animals ate, drank, stood, sat, lay down, and dug was recorded. Furthermore, both body surface temperature and salivary cortisol levels were measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. The use of coffee husks did not influence body surface temperature. Salivary cortisol levels increased during the experimental period only in the animals maintained on coffee husks. In the morning, the coffee husks decreased the number of times that the animals sat and increased the number of times that they lay down. In the afternoon, the use of coffee husks decreased the number of times that the animals stood, sat, or dug and increased the number of times that the animals lay down. Although coffee husks do not change the behavior of the animals in an expressive way, they should not be used as floor covering for boars.

Keywords : alternative materials; environmental enrichment; industrial waste; salivary cortisol; swine; welfare.

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