The aim of our study was to analyze a new method of cognitive enrichment for suckling piglets and related opportunities to reduce aggressive behaviour after weaning. In the first part of our experiment, 10 complete litters with a total of 95 suckling piglets were trained from an age of 25 days to react on an electronic feeder. The piglets learned the link between a sound given by the electronic feeder and a feed reward in form of chocolate candies. There were 8 training sessions during 10 days showing an apparent learning success at the third day with 74,3% of the piglets standing close to the feeder 15 seconds after its activation. The second part of experiment was aimed to study the possibility to interrupt aggressive behaviour between 2 piglets after weaning using the behaviour learned in the farrowing pen. Therefore, 390 resident-intruder confrontations were studied. In 83,6% of cases, aggressive interaction could be stopped by the activation of the feeder and the related reaction of the piglets. In 90% of cases, only one piglet reacted first so that fighting stopped. In 59% of all stopped fights, the aggressor reacted to the feeder activation whereas the receiver reacted in 51% alone or together with the aggressor. Thus, the feeder could effectively distract the animals from aggressive behaviour. We conclude that a sound signal combined with an electronic feeder is suitable as cognitive enrichment for suckling piglets as well as to stop aggressive fights in a resident-intruder test. Hence, cognitive enrichment can be used for pigs in young age and may be useful in later production stages to reduce aggression and enhance animal welfare.
Kognitive Aufgaben als Umweltanreicherung im Abferkelstall : erste Ansätze einer Nutzung früher Verhaltenskonditionierung von Saugferkeln zur Verminderung aggressiver Verhaltensweisen während der Aufzucht / S. Rauterberg, L.T. Sonoda, M. Fels, S. Viazzi, G. Ismayilova, M. Oczak, C. Bahr, M. Guarino, E. Vranken, D. Berckmans, J. Härtung. - In: ZUCHTUNGSKUNDE. - ISSN 0044-5401. - 85:5(2013 Sep), pp. 376-387.
|Titolo:||Kognitive Aufgaben als Umweltanreicherung im Abferkelstall : erste Ansätze einer Nutzung früher Verhaltenskonditionierung von Saugferkeln zur Verminderung aggressiver Verhaltensweisen während der Aufzucht|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/10 - Costruzioni Rurali e Territorio Agroforestale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||set-2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|