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Identifying blood-based biomarkers associated with aggression in weaned pigs after mixing

By Chunyan Shen, Xian Tong, Ruonan Chen, Siyuan Gao, Xinpeng Liu, Allan P. Schinckel, Yuan Li, Feilong Xu, Bo Zhou

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Abstract

Animal behavior, including agonistic behavior, is regulated by various neurotransmitters and hormones in the blood. To Identify blood-based biomarkers associated with aggression in weaned pigs after mixing, a total of 500 weaned pigs from 65 litters were selected and mixed into 51 pens with littermates separately placed into different pens, and their behavior was recorded for 36 h. Blood samples were taken at 24 h before mixing and 24 h after mixing. An aggressive behavior index composite aggressive score was used to assess the aggressive behavior of weaned pigs after mixing. The most aggressive (n = 51) and the least aggressive pigs (n = 51) were selected in each pen. The concentrations of plasma triiodothyronine (T3) in the most aggressive pigs were lower (P < 0.01) than those of the least aggressive pigs at 24 h before (3.42 vs. 5.56 ng/mL) and 24 h after regrouping (3.88 vs. 5.51 ng/mL). In addition, skin lesion scores on the front body in the most aggressive pigs was greater (Pearson Chi-Square = 14.053; P = 0.001) than those of the least aggressive pigs 2 h after mixing. The concentrations of salivary cortisol from pen at 2, 24, and 48 h after mixing were higher than that at 24 h before mixing (2.2, 1.8, 2.1 vs. 0.9 ng/mL; P 

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 224
Pages 104927
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.104927
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Tags
  1. Aggressive behavior
  2. Analysis
  3. Biomarkers
  4. Pigs
  5. skin lesions