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Comparison of Vocalization Patterns in Piglets Which Were Crushed to Those Which Underwent Human Restraint

By Nichole M. Chapel, Jeffrey R. Lucas, Scott Radcliffe, Kara R. Stewart, Donald C. Lay Jr.

Category Journal Articles

: Though many studies focused on piglet crushing utilizing piglet vocalizations to test sow response, none have verified the properties of test vocalizations against actual crushing events. Ten sows were observed 48 h after parturition, and crushing events were recorded from all sows. When a crushing event occurred, a second piglet within the same litter was used to solicit a vocalization through manual restraint to compare restrained piglets’ call properties to those of crushed piglets’. A total of 659 Restrained calls and 631 Crushed calls were collected. Variables were gathered at the loudest point in a call, and as an average across the entire call. Crushed piglets had a lower fundamental frequency (p < 0.01; Crushed: 523.57 ± 210.6 Hz; Restrained: 1214.86 ± 203.2 Hz) and narrower bandwidth (p < 0.01; Crushed: 4897.01 ± 587.3 Hz; Restrained: 6674.99 ± 574.0 Hz) when analyzed at the loudest portion of a call. Overall, piglets which were crushed had a lower mean peak frequency than those which were restrained (p = 0.01; 1497.08 ± 239.4 Hz and 2566.12 ± 235.0 Hz, respectively). Future research should focus on measuring sow reactivity to Crushed and Restrained piglets to continue to improve research practices.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2018
Publication Title Animals
Volume 8
Issue 8
Pages 7
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani8080138
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal communication
  2. Animal roles
  3. Farm animals
  4. Food animals
  5. Husbandry
  6. open access
  7. vocalizations
  1. open access