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Agonistic behaviour after mixing in pigs under commercial farm conditions

By Andreas Stukenborg, Imke Traulsen, Birger Puppe, Ulrich Presuhn, Joachim Krieter

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate agonistic behaviour of pigs after regrouping pigs under commercial sow farm conditions. The behavioural patterns were observed over a 48-h period, directly after weaning (PIG-28; n=647) and 40 days later (growing pigs, PIG-68; n=224). Agonistic interactions were analysed by noting the times (start and finish), the aggressor/receiver and the winner/loser of a fight. Differences in agonistic behaviour within and between the two age groups were recorded. The median number of fights per pig was 40.0 (PIG-28) and 6.5 (PIG-68), respectively, and varied between 0 and 139 fights. A circadian rhythm for the number of fights per pig and hour was shown for both age groups. A dominance index (DI) was calculated to examine possible relations between the agonistic behaviour shown and the dominance of an individual pig. The DI was defined as the ratio of wins minus defeats divided by the sum of wins, defeats and stand-off outcomes. Dominant pigs (DI>0) were engaged in more agonistic interactions, had a longer total fight time and initiated more fights (p

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 129
Issue 1
Pages 28-35
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.10.004
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Tags
  1. Agonistic behavior
  2. Dominance
  3. Lesions
  4. mixing
  5. Pigs