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A brief report on intraspecies aggressive biting in a goat herd

By C. Tolu, T. Savas

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This study aimed at analysing the effects of age, horn and places on biting and butting as intraspecies aggressive activities. Seventy-two Turkish Saanen goats were used as animal material and 22,686 aggressive behaviours were recorded in different places from a total of 118 h direct observation. Of the observations of aggressive behaviours, 32.7% was biting behaviour and the rest was butting behaviour. The frequency of biting behaviour in 3 or more years old goats was significantly higher than that of biting behaviour in 1 and 2 years old animals (P<=0.01). The observations revealed that horned or hornless goats exhibited biting behaviour; however the frequency of biting behaviour in hornless goats was 2.38 times higher than in horned goats (P<=0.01). Biting and butting behaviours were found to be well correlated with the area of places (P<=0.01). As the area of places got narrowed, the frequency of biting increased. However, such a trend was not observed in butting behaviour. The frequency of butting behaviour again increased with the increase in social hierarchy (P<=0.01), whereas the frequency of biting behaviour was not affected by social hierarchy (P=0.30). In conclusion, intraspecies biting behaviour, which is thought to have developed as a result of horn absence, should be questioned whether this is unique to the herd or to the genotype.

Date 2007
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 102
Issue 1/2
Pages 124-129
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.03.002
Author Address Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, 17020 Canakkale, Turkey.cemiltolu@comu.edu.tr
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Age
  2. Aggression
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Bites and stings
  5. Goats
  6. Horns
  7. Mammals
  8. peer-reviewed
  9. Social behavior
  10. Status
  1. peer-reviewed