I have undertaken the Teagasc PhD Walsh Fellowship in collaboration with SRUC and the University of Edinburgh since October 2015, supervised by Dr Keelin O’Driscoll (Teagasc), Dr Rick D’Eath (SRUC), Dr Dale Sandercock (SRUC), and Prof Alistair Lawrence (SRUC & Edinburgh). Before starting the PhD, I completed my MSc degree of the Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh supervised by Dr Emma Baxter and Dr Lesley Smith from SRUC. My master’s project was to study the social network and influence of enrichment on group-housed pregnant sows. I am currently working on using enrichment and feeding strategies to control tail biting in pigs managed on fully slatted floors. The enrichment materials we tried include different types of wooden posts, rubber chew toys and a variety of other suitable materials. We have worked with docked as well undocked tailed pigs. We’re also experimenting different intervention protocols to control tail biting outbreaks.
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