Effects of rearing environment on the behaviour of
Journal of Animal Science, volume 57 Supplement 1 (1983) page 137
Temple Grandin, Stanley E. Curtis and William T.
Greenough, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Twenty-four 4 and 1/2 week old Hampshire-sired crossbred pigs from five
litters were placed in either a "stimulating" of a "nonstimulating"
- The "nonstimulating" environment consisted of
placing 2 pigs in each of six 1.22m X 1.22m nursery pens with
plastic-coated expanded metal floors.
- The lighting and temperature in
the room were constant and the pigs were not handled except for adding
feed to the self-feeders once a day and cleaning the pens every third day.
- The "stimulating" environment consisted of 12 pigs placed
together in one outdoor pen with a concrete floor and an adjoining house
bedded with straw.
- These pigs were handled and played with for at
least 15 ( and often 30) minutes daily.
- Objects were provided to play
- plastic milk crate
- garbage can
- cardboard boxed
- ropes and
- The objects were changed daily.
At the end of the 9 week trial, approach times to either a
strange man or a novel object (red feeder standing on end) were measured
in a 2.74m wide octagonal pen with a 1.22m high white plywood walls and
brown plastic carpeting on the floor. There was a 3 minute time
- Approach man -
- "stimulated" = 59.5 seconds
- "nonstimulated" = 100.3 seconds
- Approach novel object -
- "stimulated" = 49.8 seconds
- "nonstimulated" = 83.5 seconds
- Differences among litters were also apparent.
- One stimulated pig vocalized during the tests, and she and her
littermates were slower to approach the man regardless of rearing
environment (125.9 sec -vs- 60.9).
Observations indicated that the pigs would stop playing with an object
unless it was changed often, and the pigs played with some objects longer
than others. If an object became contaminated with manure, the pigs
tended to avoid it.
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