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Litter competition during nursings and its effect on sow response on Day 2 postpartum

By Barbora Bozděchová, Gudrun Illmann, Inger Lise Andersen, Jiří Haman, Rebecca Ehrlenbruch

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to assess neonatal sibling competition during nursing on Day 2 postpartum (pp) as well as its effect on the sow's responses. A total of 41 healthy loose-housed sows and their piglets were directly observed and video recorded for 6h on Day 2 pp. Piglet behaviours (presence at the udder, fighting, and screaming) were scored in 15s intervals, commencing 5 intervals (i.e. 75s) prior to milk ejection and for 9 intervals (i.e. 135s) after milk ejection. The proportion of piglets which missed the milk ejection, postural changes by the sow, and whether the nursing was with milk ejection were also noted. The mean number of piglets per litter exhibiting fights (FIGHTS), and exhibiting fights with screams (FIGHT-SCRES) was calculated for before (pre-massage) and after milk ejection (post-massage). While the number of piglets with FIGHT-SCRES was higher during pre-massage than during post-massage (0.28 vs. 0.18 piglets, P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 150
Pages 9-16
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.10.006
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Tags
  1. Maternal behavior
  2. parents
  3. Pigs
  4. progeny
  5. vocalizations