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Prepartum nest-building has an impact on postpartum nursing performance and maternal behaviour in early lactating sows

By JinHyeon Yun, K. M. Swan, C. Farmer, C. Oliviero, O. Peltoniemi, A. Valros

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Abstract

The effects of facilitating prepartum nest-building (NB) behaviour, by providing abundant nesting materials, on postpartum maternal characteristics in early lactating sows were evaluated. A total of 35 sows, approximately seven days before the expected parturition date, were housed in: (1) CRATE ( N=11): the farrowing crate closed (210 cm * 80 cm), with provision of a bucketful of sawdust, (2) PEN ( N=12): the farrowing crate opened, with provision of a bucketful of sawdust, and (3) NEST ( N=12): the farrowing crate opened, with provision of abundant nesting materials. Plasma samples were collected from sows, via an indwelling catheter on days -3, -2, and -1 (parturition being day 0) for oxytocin (OT) and prolactin (PRL) assays. Prepartum NB behaviour was observed in sows for a 20 min period for each hour from 18 h to parturition until birth of the first piglet. This NB behaviour included pawing, rooting and arranging nest material. The potential interactions between NB behaviour and postpartum maternal characteristics were investigated. The longest duration of NB behaviour was observed in NEST, followed by PEN and CRATE sows respectively ( P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 160
Pages 31-37
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
Language English
Author Address Research Centre for Animal Welfare, Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 57, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.jinhyeon.yun@helsinki.fi
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal physiology
  3. Animal reproduction
  4. Animals
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Birth
  7. Blood
  8. Effect
  9. Evaluation
  10. Farrowing
  11. Interactions
  12. Lactation
  13. Mammals
  14. Maternal behavior
  15. Meat animals
  16. nesting
  17. Oxytocin
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. Pigs
  20. prolactin
  21. sows
  22. Suiformes
  23. ungulates
  24. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed