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Social strategies associated with identity profiles in dairy goats

By Genaro C. Miranda-de la Lama, Wilmer S. Sepúlveda, Hugo H. Montaldo, Gustavo A. María, Francisco Galindo

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify and analyse the social strategies associated with dominance, conflict resolution, individual behaviour and morphological traits in goats. Social interactions of 30 high-yielding dairy goats were recorded over a period of 16 days for 96h. The variables measured were social interactions, conflict resolution, individual behaviours and morphological characteristics. Using seven variables of social interactions, through the test of factor analysis three factors were obtained that concentrated the 92.3% of the variance. These were labelled as ‘avoider’ factor (36.9%), ‘no-agonistic’ factor (28.1%) and ‘agonistic’ factor (27.3%). Subsequently a hierarchical cluster analysis was performed in order to identify identity profiles (groups of similar animals) which could help to explain the possible association between social strategies (obtained from the factor analysis) and index of success, conflict resolution, social and individual behaviour and morphometric characteristics. Social strategies, dominance, conflict resolution, and the time they devote to feeding and resting, beard length, thoracic circumference and the particular association of each one of these characteristics has allowed us to identify four types of identity profiles which we have termed aggressive, affiliative, passive, and avoiders. Our results show the existence of an association between social strategies with identity profiles in dairy goats. We propose the use of term identity profile for describe individuality, personality and their relationship with certain morphological traits of the animals.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 134
Issue 1
Pages 48-55
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.06.004
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Tags
  1. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  2. Conflict
  3. Goats
  4. identity
  5. morphology
  6. Strategies