Do Yorkshire Gilts Become Habituated to Repeated Weighing Over a Trial? [report]

Larry J. Sadler, Anna K. Johnson, Jennifer Young, Steven M. Lonergan, Jack C.M. Dekkers, Daniel S. Nettleton
2011 unpublished
and Implications The objective of this study was to determine if Yorkshire gilts become habituated to the process of weighing. A total of 192 pure bred Yorkshire gilts were used. The gilts were housed in 12 pens, 16 gilts/pen providing a space allowance of 0.82 m 2 /gilt. Gilts were weighed every 2-wks for a maximum of eight scores/ gilt. Gilts were scored while on the weigh scale for activity using a whole number scale of one to five (1 = calm, minimal movement; 5 = continuous rapid movement
more » ... d an escape attempt) at two different time points, T = 0 (as soon as the back gate was closed and T = 15, 15 sec after the back gate was closed. Analyses were done using Proc Mixed of SAS. The differences during round one between T = 0 and T = 15 was 1 point on the 5 point scale. By round eight this had dropped down to a difference of 0.2. During the first round over both time points the gilts scored on average 2.5, by round 5 this had dropped down to around 1.5 at which point it stabilized. In conclusion, Yorkshire gilts appear to become habituated to the process of weighing over the course of a trial, and as such do not seem to find the process highly aversive.
doi:10.31274/ans_air-180814-723 fatcat:rh5tcroehnertazqp3rzd4f6py