Pigs prefer pop music
PLAYING a radio tuned into a pop music or chat station can have a positive effect on sow and piglet behaviour during the three weeks they spend in a farrowing crate.
This was the conclusion of a study carried out by Kayleigh Langdon from Writtle College, which also investigated the potential of radio acting as a buffer to negative noise.
Sows and litters were housed in either a control room without radio or an enriched environment with radio. Behaviour and posture of sows and piglet behaviour was observed. A sow’s reaction to a person entering the room was noted.
Results showed piglets from litters given radio enrichment treatment consistently played more than those in the control environment. Sows with radio showed significantly less sitting and abnormal behaviour.
However, the most marked difference was an increase in nursing and suckling of the piglets in the sows with radio.
Ms Langdon said playing a radio seems beneficial to both sows and piglets, perhaps because audio enrichment provided a stimulus to reduce the boredom of confined conditions. It also reduced the reaction of the sows to humans.
Ms Langdon said further studies should include measures of piglet performance.