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Personality, coping patterns, and aggression in piglets

By B. Forkman, I. L. Furuhaug, P. Jensen

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Abstract

65 two-week-old piglets were held on their backs for 1 min while the number of escape attempts were counted. There was no difference between male and females in the number of escape attempts made (14 and 15, respectively) and the distribution of escape attempts was unimodal. The back-test was repeated on 45 female piglets once a week from 1 to 5 weeks of age. From 8 to 10 weeks of age, several other tests (extinction time, social dependence, reaction to a novel object and aggression) were carried out which were designed to measure parameters that previous studies have shown to be correlated to the coping strategies of the animals. The time to approach a trough covered in straw and time spent searching for food, the time to approach a novel object, the behaviour when separated from litter mates and the time to attack and number of bites when 2 unfamiliar piglets were mixed was recorded. There was no correlation between the number of escape attempts and any of the other parameters measured. It is concluded that no evidence for active/passive coping was present. A principle component analysis, explaining 60% of the total variation, suggested 3 personality traits: aggression (25%), sociability (20

Date 1995
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 45
Issue 1-2
Pages 31-42
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Hygiene, Swedish Agricultural University, P.O. Box 345, 532 24 Skara, Sweden.
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Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Mammals
  4. patterns
  5. peer-reviewed
  6. Stress
  7. Swine
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  1. peer-reviewed