Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Behavioural aspects of neonate survival

  • A. B. Lawrence (a1) and C. E. O'Connor (a2)

Abstract

The postnatal period is the most dangerous phase of life and survival depends on the neonate behaving appropriately from birth. Consequently, many aspects of neonate behaviour are often near to being fully formed at birth. However, experience will often be required to shape the expression of the behaviour and improve its effectiveness. The immediate problems facing the neonate will be related to the overall reproductive strategy of the species. In pigs, sibling rivalry will be critical in establishing and maintaining fidelity to a teat, and this early conflict is probably most important for survival. The teat order that succeeds this early rivalry is probably not, however, the result of competition over the most productive teats but because of certain intrinsic advantages of teat fidelity that maximize growth. In sheep the need to quickly follow and solicit sucking only from the dam makes learning to recognise the mother a priority. Recent results suggest that the ability of the neonate lamb to recognize its mother has been under-estimated and that failure of lambs to recognise their mothers can make a significant contribution to mortality rates. Survival in any species is, however, not simply a matter of appropriate neonate behaviour but may depend critically on the quality of the interaction between the mother and offspring. It is difficult to determine the end of the neonate period given the often protracted nature of weaning. As weaning progresses there is a shift to bonding with siblings and peers and to an extent these relationships take over some of the social functions of the mother-infant relationship such as avoidance of predators. Lastly, experiences gained during the neonate period can have long-term effects on behaviour such as diet selection, social preferences and responses to fear with important implications for farmed livestock.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Alexander, G. 1960. Maternal behaviour in the Merino ewe. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production 3: 105114.
Alexander, G. and Williams, D. 1964. Maternal facilitation of sucking drive in newborn lambs. Science 146: 665666.
Algers, B. and Jensen, P. 1985. Communication during suckling in the domestic pig. Effects of continuous noise. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 14: 4961.
Algers, B., Rojanasthien, S. and Uvnas-Moberg, K. 1990. The relationship between teat stimulation, oxytocin release and grunting rate in the sow during nursing. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 26: 267276.
Arnold, G., Wallace, S. R. and Maller, R. A. 1979. Some factors involved in natural weaning processes in sheep. Applied Animal Ethology 5: 4350.
Bateson, P. P. G. 1983. Genes, environment and the development of behaviour. In Animal Behaviour. Volume 3 (ed. Halliday, T. R. and Slater, P. J. B.), pp. 5281. Blackwell, Oxford.
Billing, A. E. and Vince, M. A. 1987a. Teat-seeking behaviour in newborn lambs. 1. Evidence for the influence of maternal skin temperature. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 18: 301313.
Billing, A. E. and Vince, M. A. 1987b. Teat-seeking behaviour in newborn lambs. 2. Evidence for the influence of the dam's surface textures and degree of surface textures and degree of surface yield. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 18: 315325.
Bolhuis, J. J. 1992. Mechanisms of avian imprinting: a review. Biological Reviews. In press.
Bronstein, P. M., Levine, M. J. and Marcus, M. 1975. A rat's first bite: the nongenetic, cross generational transfer of information. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 89: 295298.
Brown, J. L. 1975. The evolution of behaviour. W. W. Norton, New York.
Chapple, R. S. and Lynch, J. J. 1986. Behavioural factors modifying acceptance of supplementary foods by sheep. Research and Development in Agriculture 3: 113120.
Coe, C. L., Wiener, S. G., Rosenberg, L. T. and Levine, S. 1985. Endocrine and immune responses to separation and maternal loss in non-human primates. In The psychobiology of attachment and separation (ed. Reite, M. and Field, T.), pp. 163199. Academic Press, London.
Collias, N. E. 1956. The analysis of socialization in sheep and goats. Ecology 37: 228239.
De Passillé, A-M. B., Rushen, J. and Hartsock, T. G. 1988. Ontogeny of teat fidelity in pigs and its relation to competition at suckling. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 68: 325338.
Einon, D. F. and Morgan, M. J. 1976. Habituation of object contact in socially reared and isolated rats. Animal Behaviour 24: 415420.
Ellendorf, F., Forsling, M. L. and Poulain, D. A. 1982. The milk ejection reflex in the pig. Journal of Physiology 333: 577594.
English, P. R., Smith, W. J. and Maclean, A. 1977. The sow — improving her efficiency. Farming Press, Ipswich.
Evans, R. M. 1972. Development of an auditory discrimination in domestic chicks (Gallus gallus). Animal Behaviour 20: 7787.
Fagen, R. 1981. Animal play behaviour. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ferchim, P. A., Bennett, E. L. and Rosenzweig, M. R. 1975. Direct contact with enriched environment is required to alter cerebral weights in rats, Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 88: 360367.
Fraser, D. 1975. The ‘teat order’ of suckling pigs. 2. Fighting during suckling and the effects of clipping the eye teeth. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 84: 393399.
Fraser, D. 1980. A review of the behavioural mechanisms of milk ejection of the domestic pig. Applied Animal Ethology 6: 247255.
Fraser, D. 1984. The role of behaviour in swine production. Applied Animal Ethology 11: 317339.
Fraser, D. 1990. Behavioural perspectives on piglet survival. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, suppl. 40, pp. 355370.
Fraser, D. and Jones, R. 1975. The ‘teat order’ of suckling pigs. 1. Relation to birth weight and subsequent growth. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 84: 387391.
Fraser, D. and Thompson, B. K. 1986. Variation in piglet weights: relationship to suckling behaviour, parity number and farrowing crate design. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 66: 3146.
Galef, B. G. and Sherry, D. F. 1973. Mother's milk: a medium for the transmission of cues reflecting the flavour of mother's diet. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 83: 374378.
Geist, V. 1971. Mountain sheep. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Geist, V. 1981. On the reproductive strategies in ungulates and some problems of adaptation. In Evolution today: proceedings from the second international congress on systematic and evolutionary biology (ed. Scudder, G. G. E. and Reveal, J. L.), pp. 111132. Carnegie University, Pittsburg.
Grubb, P. 1974. The rut and behaviour of Soay rams. In Island survivors: the ecology of the Soay sheep of St Kilda (ed. Jewell, P. A., Milner, C. and Morton-Boyd, J.), pp. 195241. Athlone Press, London.
Hall, W. G. and Rosenblatt, J. S. 1977. Suckling behaviour and intake control in the developing rat pup. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 91: 12321247.
Hall, W. G. and Williams, C. L. 1983. Suckling isn't feeding or is it? A search for developmental continuities. Advances in the Study of Behaviour 13: 219254.
Hartsock, T. G. and Graves, H. B. 1976. Neonatal behaviour and nutrition-related mortality in domestic swine. Journal of Animal Science 42: 235241.
Hebb, D. O. 1953. Heredity and environment in mammalian behaviour. British Journal of Animal Behaviour 1: 4347.
Hemsworth, P. H., Winfield, C. G. and Mullaney, P. D. 1976. A study of the development of the teat order in piglets. Applied Animal Ethology 2: 225233.
Hennessy, M. B. 1988. Both prevention of physical contact and removal of distal cues mediate Cortisol and vocalisation responses of Guinea pig pups to maternal separation in a novel environment. Physiology and Behaviour 43: 729733.
Hess, E. H. 1959. Two conditions limiting critical age for imprinting. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 52: 513518.
Hinch, G. N., Lynch, J. J., Elwin, R. L. and Green, G. C. 1990. Long-term associations between Merino-ewes and their offspring. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 27: 93103.
Hinde, R. A. 1970. Animal behaviour. McGraw-Hill, Tokyo.
Hinde, R. A. 1974. Biological bases of human social behaviour. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Hogan, J. A. 1973. Development of food recognition in young chicks. 2. Learned associations over long delays. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 83: 367373.
Hogan, J. A. 1975. Development of food recognition in young chicks. 3. Discrimination. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 89: 95104.
Horn, G. 1990. Neural bases of recognition memory investigated through an analysis of imprinting. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B 329: 133142.
Jensen, P. 1986. Observations on the maternal behaviour of free-ranging domestic pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 16: 131142
Jensen, P. 1988. Maternal behaviour and mother-young interactions during lactation in free-ranging domestic pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 20: 297308.
Jensen, P. and Redbo, I. 1987. Behaviour during nest leaving in free-ranging domestic pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 18: 355362.
Jeppeson, L. E. 1982. Teat-order in groups of piglets reared on an artificial sow. I. Formation of teat-order and influence of milk yield on teat preference. Applied Animal Ethology 8: 335345.
Jones, R. B. 1989. Fear in poultry. In The detection and control of fear in animals (ed. Gibson, T.), Proceedings of a British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation symposium, London, pp. 2840.
Joseph, J. R. and Gallagher, R. E. 1980. Gender and early environmental influences on activity, over-responsiveness and exploration. Developmental Psychobiology 29: 649675.
Key, C. and MacIver, R. M. 1980. The effects of maternal influences on sheep: breed differences in grazing, resting and courtship behaviour. Applied Animal Ethology 6: 3348.
Klopfer, P. and Klopfer, M. 1977. Compensatory responses of goat mothers to their impaired young. Animal Behaviour 25: 286291.
Lawrence, A. B. 1986. Consumer demand theory and the assessment of animal welfare. Animal Behaviour 35: 291293.
Lawrence, A. B. 1990. Mother-daughter and peer relationships of Scottish hill sheep. Animal Behaviour 39: 481486.
Lawrence, A. B. 1991. Mother daughter bonds in sheep. Animal Behaviour 42: 683685.
Lawrence, A. B. and Wood-Gush, D. G. M. 1988a. Influence of social behaviour on utilization of supplemental feedblocks by Scottish hill sheep. Animal Production 46: 203212.
Lawrence, A. B. and Wood-Gush, D. G. M. 1988b. Home range behaviour and social organization of Scottish Blackface sheep. Journal of Applied Ecology 25: 2540.
Lent, P. C. 1974. Mother-infant relationships in ungulates. In Behaviour of ungulates and its relation to management (ed. Geist, V. and Walthers, F.), pp. 1453. IUCN, Mordes, Switzerland.
Lobato, J. F. P., Pearce, G. R. and Beilharz, R. G. 1980. Effect of early familiarisation with dietary supplements on the subsequent ingestion of molasses-urea blocks by sheep. Applied Animal Ethology 6: 149161.
Lynch, J. J., Keogh, R. G., Elwin, R. L., Green, G. C. and Mottershead, B. E. 1983. Effects of early experience on the post-weaning acceptance of whole grain wheat by fine-woolled Merino lambs. Animal Production 36: 175183.
Lytle, L. D., Moorcroft, W. H. and Campbell, B. A. 1971. Ontogeny of amphetamine anorexia and insulin hyperphagia in the rat. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 77: 388393.
McBride, G. 1963. The ‘teat order’ and communication in young pigs. Animal Behaviour 11: 5356.
McBride, G., James, J. W. and Wyeth, G. S. F. 1965. Social behaviour of domestic animals. VII. Variation in weaning weight in pigs. Animal Production 7: 6774.
McFarland, D. 1985. Animal behaviour. Pitman, London.
Martin, P. 1984. The meaning of weaning. Animal behaviour 32: 12571259.
Meat and Livestock Commission. 1991. Quarterly report. Pig Improvement Services, MLC, Milton Keynes.
Morrill, J. L. and Dayton, A. D. 1977. Effect of feed flavour in milk and calf starter on feed consumption and growth. Journal of Dairy Science 61: 229232.
Newberry, R. C. and Wood-Gush, D. G. M. 1986. Social relationships of piglets in a semi-natural environment. Animal Behaviour 34: 13111318.
Nielsen, N. C., Christensen, K., Bille, N. and Larsen, J. L. 1974. Preweaning mortality in pigs. 1. Herd investigations. Nordic Veterinary Medicine 26: 137150.
Nowak, R. 1988. Relationship between neonatal mortality and mother recognition by 12 hour old Merino lambs. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production 17: 449.
Nowak, R. 1990. Lamb's bleats: important for establishment of the mother-young bond? Behaviour 115: 1429.
Nowak, R. and Lindsay, D. R. 1990. Effect of genotype and litter size on discrimination of mothers by their twelve-hour-old lambs. Behaviour 115: 113.
Nowak, R., Poindron, P. and Putu, I. G. 1989. Development of mother discrimination by single and multiple newborn lambs. Developmental Psychobiology 22: 833845.
O'Connor, C. E. 1990. Mother-offspring relationships in Scottish Blackface sheep. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Edinburgh.
O'Connor, C. E., Jay, N. P., Nicol, A. M. and Beatson, P. R. 1985. Ewe maternal behaviour score and lamb survival. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 45: 159162.
O'Connor, C. E., and Lawrence, A. B. 1990. Relationships between lamb vigour and ewe behaviour on sucking success at parturition. Animal Production 50: 554555.
O'Connor, C. E., Lawrence, A. B. and Wood-Gush, D. G. M. 1989. Influence of parity and litter size on maternal behaviour in sheep at parturition. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 24: 86.
Oppenheim, R. W. 1982. Preformation and epigenesis in the origins of the nervous system and behaviour: issues, concepts and their history. In Perspectives in ethology. Volume 5. Ontogeny (ed. Bateson, P. P. G. and Klopfer, P. H.). Plenum Press, New York.
Poindron, P. and Le Neindre, P. 1980. Endocrine and sensory regulation of maternal behaviour in the ewe. Advances in the Study of Behaviour 11: 75119.
Poindron, P. and Schmidt, P. 1985. Distance recognition in ewes and lambs kept permanently indoors or at pasture. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 13: 267273.
Reite, M., Short, R., Kaufman, I. C., Stynes, A. J. and Pauley, J. D. 1978. Heart rate and body temperature in separated monkey infants. Biology of Psychiatry 13: 91105.
Renner, M. J. and Rosenzweig, M. R. 1986. Object interaction in juvenile rats: effects of different experiential histories. Journal of Comparative Psychology 100: 229239.
Rosillon-Warnier, A. and Paquay, R. 1984. Development and consequences of teat-order in piglets. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 12: 3758.
Rowell, T. E. 1991. Till death us do part: long lasting bonds between ewes and their daughters. Animal Behaviour 42. In press.
Seyfarth, R. M. and Cheney, D. L. 1980. The ontogeny of vervet monkey alarm-calling behaviour: a preliminary report. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 54: 3746.
Seyfarth, R. M. and Cheney, D. L. 1986. Vocal development in vervet monkeys. Animal Behaviour 34: 16401658.
Seyfarth, R. M., Cheney, D. L. and Marler, P. 1980. Vervet monkey alarm calls: semantic communication in a freeranging primate. Animal Behaviour 28: 10701094.
Shapiro, L. E. and Insel, T. R. 1990. Infant's response to social separation reflects adult differences in affiliative behaviour: a comparative developmental study in Prairie and Montane voles. Developmental Psychobiology 23: 375393.
Shillito-Walser, E. E., Hague, P. and Yeomans, M. 1983. Preferences for sibling or mother in Dalesbred and Jacob twin lambs. Applied Animal Ethology 9: 289297.
Shillito-Walser, E. E., Willandsen, S. and Hague, P. 1982. Maternal vocal recognition in lambs born to Jacob and Dalesbred ewes after embryo transplantation between breeds. Applied Animal Ethology 8: 479486.
Shillito-Walser, E. E. and Williams, T. 1986. Pairassociations in twin lambs before and after weaning. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 15: 241245.
Slee, J. and Springbett, A. 1986. Early post-natal behaviour in lambs of ten breeds. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 15: 229240.
Smith, F. V., van Toller, C. and Boyes, T. 1966. The ‘critical period’ in the attachment of lambs and ewes. Animal Behaviour 14: 120125.
Spitz, F. 1986. Current state of knowledge of wild boar. Pig News and Information 7: 171175.
Stanton, M. E., Gutierrez, Y. R. and Levine, S. 1988. Maternal deprivation potentiates pituitary-adrenal responses in infant rats. Behavioural Neurosciences 102: 692700.
Stevens, D., Alexander, G. and Lynch, J. J. 1982. Lamb mortality due to inadequate care of twins by Merino ewes. Applied Animal Ethology 8: 243252.
Vince, M. A. and Ward, T. M. 1984. The responsiveness of newly born Clun Forest lambs to odour sources in the ewe. Behaviour 89: 117127.
Vince, M. A., Ward, T. M. and Reader, M. 1984. Tactile stimulation and teat-seeking behaviour in newly born lambs. Animal Behaviour 32: 11791184.
Wakerley, J. B. and Drewett, R. F. 1975. The pattern of sucking in the infant rat during spontaneous milk ejection. Physiology and Behaviour 15: 227281.
Welch, A. R. and Baxter, M. R. 1986. Responses of newborn piglets to thermal and tactile properties of their environment. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 15: 203215.
Wemelsfelder, F. 1991. Animal boredom: do animals miss being alert and active?. In Applied animal behaviour: past, present and future (ed. Appleby, M. C., Horrell, R. I., Petherick, J. C. and Rutter, S. M.), pp. 120123. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Potters Bar, London.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BSAP Occasional Publication
  • ISSN: 0263-967X
  • EISSN: 2053-5953
  • URL: /core/journals/bsap-occasional-publication
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed