The Growth Environment and Behavioural Response of Fattening Pigs
Keywords:behaviour, environment shelter, pig
The aim of this study was to trace the effects of growth environment on the behaviour of fattening pigs in the farm and outside it. Behavioural manifestations of pigs reared in pens with enriched environment (A lot, n: 22) were different from those of pigs reared in pens with arid environment (B lot, n: 17) in shelter and when the movement to be loaded. Pigs of B lot spent more time on the move (31%) compared to group A pigs (13%), and manifested more aggressive behaviour when they were loaded. Salivary cortisol levels also showed high values for pigs in B lot after being removed from their growth environment, as compared to its concentration for A lot pigs. The enriched environment for pigs may determine different responses of behaviour. Pigs raised in arid environment, were easier to load than pigs reared in enriched environment, but they responded to mixing and loading stress, through increases in cortisol concentrations and impaired behavioural manifestations.
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