Post-weaning social and cognitive performance of piglets raised pre-weaning either in a complex multi-suckling group housing system or in a conventional system with a crated sowReport as inadecuate




Post-weaning social and cognitive performance of piglets raised pre-weaning either in a complex multi-suckling group housing system or in a conventional system with a crated sow - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Animal Cognition

pp 1–15

First Online: 05 July 2017Received: 15 February 2017Revised: 23 June 2017Accepted: 26 June 2017

Abstract

We studied the social and cognitive performance of piglets raised pre-weaning either in a conventional system with a sow in a farrowing crate FC or in a multi-suckling MS system in which 5 sows and their piglets could interact in a more physically enriched and spacious environment. After weaning at 4 weeks of age, 8 groups of 4 litter-mates per pre-weaning housing treatment were studied under equal and enriched post-weaning housing conditions. From each pen, one pair consisting of a dominant and a submissive pig was selected, based on a feed competition test FCT 2 weeks post-weaning. This pair was used in an informed forager test IFT which measured aspects of spatial learning and foraging strategies in a competitive context. During individual training, submissive informed pigs learned to remember a bait location in a testing arena with 8 buckets the same bucket was baited in a search visit and a subsequent relocation visit, whereas dominant non-informed pigs always found the bait in a random bucket search visits only. After learning their task, the informed pigs’ individual search visit was followed by a pairwise relocation visit in which they were accompanied by the non-informed pig. Effects of pre-weaning housing treatment were not distinctly present regarding the occurrence of aggression in the FCT and the learning performance during individual training in the IFT. During paired visits, informed and non-informed pigs changed their behaviour in response to being tested pairwise instead of individually, but MS and FC pigs showed few distinct behavioural differences.

KeywordsInformed forager test Social development Cognitive development Group housing Multi-suckling system Pigs  Download fulltext PDF



Author: S. E. van Nieuwamerongen - M. Mendl - S. Held - N. M. Soede - J. E. Bolhuis

Source: https://link.springer.com/







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