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The behaviour of male fattening pigs following either surgical castration or vaccination with a GnRF vaccine

By J. Baumgartner, S. Laister, M. Koller, A. Pfutzner, M. Grodzycki, S. Andrews, F. Schmoll

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Vaccination of male fattening pigs with a gonadotropin releasing factor (GnRF) vaccine is regarded as a possible solution to solve the welfare problem associated with surgical castration, which causes pain and stress even when performed under local or general anaesthesia. The objective of the present study was to compare the behaviour of male fattening pigs either surgically castrated without anaesthesia (T1) or vaccinated twice with a GnRF vaccine (T2). Data collection took place in a commercial German fattening unit. Each treatment comprised 8 groups of 12 pigs, housed in fattening pens with partially slatted floor and liquid feed provided three times a day. Data on postures were scored from 24-h videos recorded in every week of the fattening period (16 weeks) using scan sampling with 5 min intervals. Social behaviour was analysed in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 16 by continuous behaviour recording of focus animals in four blocks of 2 h phased evenly during the day. Overall, during the whole fattening period, vaccinates (T2) were more active than surgical castrates (T1), indicated by a higher proportion of pigs standing (T1: 9.3

Date 2010
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 124
Issue 1/2
Pages 28-34
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.01.004
Language English
Author Address Institute of Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinaerplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Anesthesia
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal housing
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Animal physiology
  6. Animal reproduction
  7. Automation
  8. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  9. Boars
  10. Castration
  11. data
  12. Effect
  13. Fat
  14. Finishing
  15. Hormones
  16. Incidence
  17. Information
  18. Interactions
  19. Mammals
  20. Meat animals
  21. Meat production
  22. Pain
  23. peer-reviewed
  24. pens
  25. Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  26. Pigs
  27. release
  28. Resistance and Immunity
  29. Social behavior
  30. surgery
  31. Swine
  32. vaccination
  33. video recordings
  1. peer-reviewed