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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Providing additional objects to straw reduces piglets' redirected behaviour post-weaning but influences weight gain pre-weaning negatively

Lidfors, Lena; Hultman, Pernilla; Zupan, Manja


We investigated the post-weaning effect of providing additional objects (i.e. rope, ball, tyre) to commercial piglets given straw pre- and post-weaning on behaviour and average daily gain (ADG). Piglets from litters with objects (O,n = 20 in 5 litters) and controls (C,n = 20 in 5 litters) were observed from 24 h post-weaning and during six days. Piglets were weighed at birth, weaning and 11 days post-weaning. O-piglets performed less littermate manipulation (P < 0.05), exploring pen fixtures (P < 0.1) and lying (P < 0.1) but spent more time in the creep post-weaning than C-piglets (P < 0.1). Social or locomotor play was expressed similarly in both treatments. Day strongly influenced the behaviour of pigs post-weaning. O-piglets had significantly lower pre-weaning ADG than C-piglets (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference in post-weaning ADG between the treatments. Providing objects to piglets around weaning may reduce some negative behaviours, but may affect weight gain negatively.


Pigs; enrichment; exploration; growth; play; social manipulation

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2020, volume: 69, number: 4, pages: 239-248

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Environment and Health
Hultman, Pernilla
No organisation
Zupan, Manja
Univ Ljubljana

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers


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