Submitted to: International Society of Applied Ethology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2006
Publication Date: 8/10/2006
Citation: Poletto, R., Marchant Forde, J.N., Mann, D.D., Hampsch, J.M., Kissinger, C.B. 2006. Behavioral responses of minipigs to the PigTurn®: a novel laboratory penning system. In: (Eds. M. Mendl, et al.). 40th International Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology. p. 252.
Technical Abstract: Minipigs are increasingly used in biomedical research and there is a need for a system that collects serial biofluid samples and physiological data without manual intervention, thus refining data quality and reducing animal costs. Our objective was to determine behavioral responses during the design and development of the novel movement-responsive pen component of the system. Four male and four female 9-month-old Gottingen minipigs (30kg BW) were housed individually in two blocks of four squares, adjoining pens with rubber matting, a toy, and a nipple drinker. The PigTurn was in the same room and consisted of an octagonal pen with fully-slatted floor, a toy, a nipple drinker, and a feeder. Behavior was recorded in the home pen over 48h (HP1, HP2) immediately after which, each pig was recorded in the stationary PigTurn for 48h (SP1, SP2). Ten days later, the pig was again observed in the home pen (HP3, HP4) and then recorded in the stationary PigTurn having been given a single 200mg caffeine tablet added to feed (SC1, SC2). Finally, 10 days later, each pig was observed for 24h in the PigTurn, now set to counteract the pig’s rotational movement (TP1). Behavior was recorded continually and analyzed using 10-min scan sampling to determine daily time-budgets during the nine 24h periods. Data were analyzed using Proc GLM of SAS. Time-budgets of minipigs during SP1 and SP2 did not differ from those in the home pen. However, during SC1, minipigs were more active (P<0.001) and alert (P=0.02) than during all other time periods, spending less time lying (P=0.005) and more time standing (P<0.001). These effects disappeared during SC2. During TP1, minipigs spent considerably more time walking compared to all other time periods (P<0.001) and similar amounts of time inactive but more time lying (P<0.05) than in the HP and SP periods. Overall, the results indicate no adverse behavioral responses to the stationary or movement-responsive novel pen.