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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/16907

Title: The association between sow and piglet behavior
Authors: Van Beirendonck, Sanne
Van Thielen, Jos
Driessen, Bert
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Sows in modern pig industry are often housed individually in farrowing crates a few days before farrowing until weaning. These farrowing crates limit movements of the sow and therefore also limit them in expressing their behavior. These limitations may lead to distress with the sow and can result in stereotypical behaviors. Because it is possible that the general behavior of the mother sow also influences her piglets, the hypothesis of the present study was that there is an association between the general behavior of sows and the behavior of their piglets. Our results showed that there was indeed an association between the postures and activities of sows and the behavior of their piglets, not only for nursing–suckling behavior. Results also indicated that piglets prefer resting when sows are resting. When sows were standing up, piglets were running around more. Although there were indications that piglets were more at ease when sows were bar biting compared with when they were sham chewing, a specific relationship between sow stereotypical behavior and piglet behavior could not be demonstrated in the present study. Though, it should be taken in mind that relatively low frequencies of stereotypical behaviors were observed. Furthermore, it could be that not only the prevalence of a specific stereotypical behavior is important but also a specific threshold of that specific behavior should be exceeded to induce effects on the suckling piglets. Alternatively piglets could coinduce stereotypical behavior of the mother sow.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/16907
DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2014.01.005
ISI #: 000335485400004
ISSN: 1558-7878
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2015
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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