The first weeks of a piglet’s life affect its later behaviour and welfare in several ways. Normal development of the brain, behaviour and endocrine function is dependent on specific environmental inputs during early ontogeny, such as physical complexity and stable social bonds. Insufficient availability of such necessary modulators has long-term impacts on e.g. the development of stress regulation mechanisms, behavioural flexibility and social skills. Many abnormal behaviours with negative effects on welfare, such as tail biting and belly nosing, are partly caused by insufficient or detrimental environmental inputs in the early environment. Several of the causal pathways and interactions between these effects are already known, but future research is expected to still discover many more.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Pig Welfare|
|Publisher||Woodhead Publishing Limited|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Nov 2017|
|Name||Herd and Flock Welfare|