Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

In some nursings, piglets initiate nose contacts with their mother and emit typical 'croaking' vocalizations. We examined whether the croaking vocalizations reflect the condition of the piglets and whether the sows increase their maternal investments in response to those vocalizations. The following predictions were tested: (i) Piglets with lower weight gain should vocalize more than piglets with higher weight gain; (ii) piglets' milk intake is lower in those nursings in which they vocalize after milk ejection; (iii) piglets make more croaking vocalization in nursings which were preceded by longer intervals since the last nursing with milk ejection; (iv) sows permit longer post-ejection massage in nursings in which piglets vocalized immediately after milk ejection; (v) sows decrease the interval until the succeeding nursing after those nursings in which the piglets have vocalized. Hypotheses (i) and (ii) were investigated by controlling the inter-nursing intervals in 14 sows and recording the milk intake of individual piglets' over 24 hours during days 7 or 8 post partum (Experiment 1). Hypotheses (iii) to (v) were examined through analysing video recordings of undisturbed six h nursing sequences in 29 sows (Experiments 2 and 3). The majority of our predictions were not confirmed: piglets did not vocalize more (either before or after milk ejection) after longer intervals since last milk ejection; they did not vocalize more in nursing in which they received less milk; and it was not the piglets or the litter with a lower milk intake or lower weightgain that emitted more vocalization. Neither of our predictions regarding the influence of croaking vocalizations on maternal investment was confirmed. The vocalizations were in no way associated with the length of the following inter-nursing interval or with the permission of longer udder massage. To conclude, piglet croaking vocalizations during nursings are not reliable indicators of piglet condition and are not used by sows to adjust their maternal investment.

Affiliations: 1: Ethology Group, Research Institute of Animal Production, CZ-104 00 Prague — Uhrˇíneˇves, Czech Republic; 2: Department of Ecological Agriculture, Wageningen Agricultural University, Haarweg 333, 6709 RZ Wageningen, Netherlands


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation