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Responses to novel situations of female and castrated male pigs with divergent social breeding values and different backtest classifications in barren and straw-enriched housing

By Inonge Reimert, T. Bas Rodenburg, Winanda W. Ursinus, Bas Kemp, J. Elizabeth Bolhuis

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Abstract

The growth of a pig is not only affected by its own genes, but also by the genes of its pen mates. This indirect effect on a pig's growth is represented as social breeding value (SBV) in a newly developed breeding model. It has been hypothesized that pigs could affect their pen mates’ growth through their behavior. We investigated whether pigs selected for a relatively positive (+SBV) or negative genetic effect (−SBV) on the growth of their pen mates and kept in either barren or straw-enriched pens differ in fearfulness. Effects of coping style, as assessed in a backtest, and gender were also investigated. Pigs (n=480) were subjected to a group-wise novel rope test and human approach test and individually to a novel environment test in which after 5min a bucket was lowered from the ceiling. In the novel rope test +SBV pigs were faster than −SBV pigs to touch a rope (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 151
Pages 24-35
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.11.015
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Tags
  1. Breeding
  2. Enrichment
  3. Gender differences
  4. novelty
  5. Pigs
  6. tests