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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

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

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier


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