Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Company Or A Snack? Letting Pregnant Sows Choose

Date:
April 7, 2005
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Scientists have often compared pregnant sows in different housing situations. But now scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Purdue University are asking the moms-to-be for their preferences.

Purdue University associate professor Ed Pajor (left), Purdue University graduate student Vanessa Kanaan, and ARS research leader Don Lay observe piglets from different litters in studies to determine whether socialization helps them cope better later in life.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Pressing the bar enough times brings a little snack one day, socializing with neighbors the next day. So far, pregnant sows are choosing the snacks.

Scientists have often compared pregnant sows in different housing situations. But now scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Purdue University are asking the moms-to-be for their preferences.

Purdue University animal behavioralist Ed Pajor, at West Lafayette, Ind., decided to do just that in a search for what little extras might enrich life for sows. Pajor is part of a team of Purdue and ARS animal welfare researchers at West Lafayette that includes ARS animal behavioralists Donald Lay, Jeremy Marchant-Forde and Ruth Marchant-Forde. The ARS part of the team also includes immunologist Susan Eicher and neuroscientist Heng-wei Cheng.

Pajor set up a study with 16 pregnant sows, studying four at a time. He put each animal in a conventional gestation stall designed to confine pregnant sows--but then added a control bar. On one day the bar allows a snack. The next day it opens a door to allow a visit with other sows. This goes on for several days, with the number of required bar presses increasing each day.

The sows' limits on how many times they would press the bar with their snouts for a reward were about the same whether the treat was food or socializing, indicating that socializing wasn't anything special to them.

But the next round of experiments will show if sows refine their choices in a more "homey" environment--one where there's more to do, a soft floor and plenty of straw to satisfy instincts for nesting or rooting.

The conventional stalls used in the first study are barren environments with slatted, cement floors. Pregnant sows are isolated, one to a stall, to make sure that each gets her proper diet.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Company Or A Snack? Letting Pregnant Sows Choose." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325180717.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2005, April 7). Company Or A Snack? Letting Pregnant Sows Choose. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325180717.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Company Or A Snack? Letting Pregnant Sows Choose." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325180717.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins