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The importance of physical contact with other pigs during rearing on the sexual behaviour of the male domestic pig

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2010

P. H. Hemsworth
Affiliation:
Animal Research Institute, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia
J. K. Findlay
Affiliation:
Animal Research Institute, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia
R. G. Beilharz
Affiliation:
Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
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Abstract

Five groups of four boars were reared from an early age under various social conditions. The sexual and social behaviour of these boars was studied from 32 to 52 weeks of age. Boars reared in a group from 3 weeks of age achieved a significantly greater (0·10 > P > 0·05 and P < 0·05) number of copulations and displayed significantly more (P < 0·05 and P < 0·05) courting behaviour than boars reared from 3 weeks of age in the absence of either physical contact or of both physical and visual contact with other pigs, respectively. On average, lack of physical contact with other pigs accounted for approximately 70% of the impairment in the copulatory performance of boars reared in the absence of visual and physical contact with other pigs. There were no significant differences between the copulatory performance of the boars reared in a group from 3 weeks and either those reared from 12 weeks of age in the absence of visual and physical contact with other pigs or those that were housed as a group during rearing and the testing period.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1978

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References

Gerall, H. D., Ward, I. L. and Gerall, A. A. 1967. Disruption of the male rat's sexual behaviour induced by social isolation. Anim. Behav. 15: 5458.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hemsworth, P. H., Beilharz, R. G. and Galloway, D. B. 1977. Influence of social conditions during rearing on the sexual behaviour of the domestic boar. Anim. Prod. 24: 245251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Siegel, P. B. and Siegel, H. S. 1964. Rearing methods and subsequent sexual behaviour of male chickens. Anim. Behav. 12: 270271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Signoret, J. P. 1970. Swine behaviour in reproduction. Proc. Symp. Effect of Disease and Stress on Reproductive Efficiency in Swine. University of Nebraska College of Agriculture, Lincoln, Nebraska.Google Scholar
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