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Neonatal piglets are able to differentiate more productive from less productive teats

By N. Devillers, D. Giraud, C. Farmer

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A previously-validated method to induce variation in milk production between teats of the same udder that is not related to the ante-posterior location of the teat was used. In the first lactation, over half of the sows' teats (teats 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 from 1 side of the udder, and teats 3, 4, and 7 from the other side) were sealed with tape so that they were non-functional (treated (TRT) teats), whilst the other six unblocked teats were left unblocked so that they were functional (control (CTL) teats). Sixty-four piglets in eight litters were observed on days 2 and 10 of the second lactation when all teats were available. Teat use, piglets' behaviour during nursings and growth performances were analysed according to a 2*3 factorial design including the position (anterior, middle and posterior) and the treatment (CTL vs. TRT) of teats as fixed factors. Analysis of the location of piglets along the udder at milk ejection revealed that teat use on day 2 was affected by position and treatment of teats, but teat use on day 10 was only affected by position. Moreover, on day 2, the total number of fights was greater for CTL than TRT teats (9.6 vs. 6.2 fights/day, respectively; P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 174
Pages 24-31
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.11.018
Language English
Author Address Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, 2000 College Street, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1M 0C8,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Analysis
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animals
  4. Effect
  5. Growth rates
  6. Lactation
  7. Litters
  8. Mammals
  9. Milk and dairy products
  10. newborn animals
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. performance
  13. Pigs
  14. suckling
  15. Suiformes
  16. teats
  17. traits
  18. udders
  19. ungulates
  20. variation
  21. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed