The effect of early tactile stimulation on the behaviour and production in piglets

Last changed: 25 February 2019

Previous research in different species has shown that early handling decreases fear of humans and has a buffering effect on stress later in life. The ability of coping with stressful situations increases. In this project, both direct effects of early human contact on production, handling and behaviour in pigs are investigated as well the pigs' ability to experience positive emotional states (by studying complex play behavior).

This is of interest since it may be that early handling improves their overall quality of life and prepares animals to possible future challenges. In this study, focus is on play and exploratory behaviour since these activities have beneficial effects on the fitness of the animal, as well as growth rate and effects on handling.

This project is financed by Formas as a part of Centre of Excellence in Animal Welfare Science.

Photo:Woman sitting in straw with two piglets around and photo 2 – a woman with a piglet in a research box with squares with different number at the floor.

For more information: Linda Keeling

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