Nursery pig behavior evaluation pre- and post injection using digital-image methodology
Animal Science, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
Journal or Book Title
Journal of Swine Health and Production
Objectives: To determine if nursery pigs display different behaviors and postures pre- and post injection during the human-approach paradigm using a digital photographic image.
Materials and methods: A digital camera captured an image of nursery pigs in a pen during a human-approach paradigm at two time points, pre- and post injection, with three different treatments. A total of 149 pens containing crossbred, mixed-sexed nursery pigs 42 days of age were used. Each pen of pigs was randomly assigned to one of three injection treatments: Vaccine A (saline administered on day 28 and Vaccine A on day 43); Vaccine B (vaccine administered days 28 and 43); and saline (VSAL; saline administered on days 28 and 43). All pigs were classified as Touched, Oriented, or Not Oriented. Pigs classified as Not-Oriented were further delineated into four postures and two behaviors. Within behavioral categories, snout and tail-base distances from the human were measured.
Results: There were no pre-injection pen behavioral differences. Fewer Vaccine B-treated pens were classified as Touched compared to Vaccine A- and VSAL-treated pens. Regardless of treatment, more pigs were Not Oriented post injection than pre-injection. Fewer Vaccine B-treated pigs stood than did other treatments. Vaccine B-treated pigs had the greatest snout and tail-base distances from the human.
Implication: It is important to establish the age of the nursery pigs and the vaccine with which they are treated when conducting an on-farm assessment using a human-approach paradigm.
American Association of Swine Veterinarians
Weimer, Shawna L.; Fangman, Thomas J.; Karriker, Locke A.; Stalder, Kenneth J.; and Johnson, Anna K., "Nursery pig behavior evaluation pre- and post injection using digital-image methodology" (2018). Animal Science Publications. 401.