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How do miniature pigs discriminate between people? The effect of exchanging cues between a non-handler and their familiar handler on discrimination

By Y. Koba, H. Tanida

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Abstract

During a 3-week handling period, six 8-week-old pigs were touched and fed raisins as a reward whenever they approached their handler, In subsequent training, the handlers and a non-handler wearing dark blue and white overalls, respectively, and wearing different eau de toilette fragrances sat at each end of a Y-maze. Pigs were rewarded with raisins when they chose the handler. Successful discrimination occurred when the pig chose the handler at least 15 times in 20 trials. When all pigs exhibited successful discrimination under these standard conditions, they were exposed to 4 experiments designed to test the importance of colour of overalls, type of eau de toilette and the influence of changes of the place in which the experiments were performed on the recognition of their original handler. It was concluded that pigs appeared to discriminate between a familiar and a non-familiar handler primarily using visual cues, the most important of which was the colour of clothing. The pigs had difficulty discriminating the handler from the non-handler in a new place.

Date 1999
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 61
Issue 3
Pages 239-252
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(98)00192-0
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University, 1-4-4 Higashi-Hiroshima, 739-8528, Japan.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Color
  6. Handling
  7. Mammals
  8. Meat animals
  9. odors
  10. olfaction
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. perceptions
  13. Pigs
  14. recognition
  15. senses
  16. sight
  17. Swine
  18. vision
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed