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Perinatal flavour learning and adaptation to being weaned: all the pig needs is smell.

Oostindjer M, Bolhuis JE, Simon K, van den Brand H, Kemp B - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Previously we found positive effects of perinatal flavour learning on food intake, growth and behaviour of piglets postweaning, but no increased preference for the flavour.Few interaction effects were found between preweaning and postweaning treatment, and no effects of postweaning treatment.We conclude that in the newly weaned pig, perinatal flavour learning results in a reduction of stress when the familiar flavour is present, regardless of providing the flavour in the food or in the air.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. marije.oostindjer@wur.nl

ABSTRACT
Perinatal flavour learning through the maternal diet is known to enhance flavour preference and acceptance of flavoured food in many species, yet still little is known about the mechanism underlying perinatal flavour learning. Previously we found positive effects of perinatal flavour learning on food intake, growth and behaviour of piglets postweaning, but no increased preference for the flavour. This suggests that flavour learning in pigs works through a reduction of weaning stress by the presence of the familiar flavour instead. The aim of this study was to investigate whether perinatal flavour learning reduces stress at weaning, and whether the effect is stronger when the familiar flavour is present in the food. Sows were offered an anethol-flavoured diet (Flavour treatment) or control diet (Control treatment) during late gestation and lactation. Flavour and Control piglets were provided with anethol either in their food (Food treatment) or in the air (Air treatment) after weaning. Preweaning and postweaning treatments did not affect food intake, preference or growth in the first two weeks postweaning but flavour treatment reduced the latency to eat (24 versus 35 hours, P = 0.02) and within-pen variation in growth (SD within-pen: 0.7 versus 1.2 kg, P<0.001). Salivary cortisol levels tended to be lower four and seven hours postweaning for Flavour piglets compared to Control piglets (4 hours: 2.5 versus 3.0 ng/ml, P = 0.05, 7 hours: 3.1 versus 3.4 ng/ml, P = 0.08). Flavour piglets played more and showed less damaging behaviours than Control piglets, indicating that the familiar flavour reduced stress around weaning. Few interaction effects were found between preweaning and postweaning treatment, and no effects of postweaning treatment. We conclude that in the newly weaned pig, perinatal flavour learning results in a reduction of stress when the familiar flavour is present, regardless of providing the flavour in the food or in the air.

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Behaviour after weaning.Play behaviour (A), manipulative behaviour (B) and percentage of piglets per pen that vocalized on day 1 after weaning (C). Piglets were exposed to Flavour through the maternal diet or were Control piglets, housed in postweaning pens containing the flavour in the Food or in the Air. Please note the differences in scale. *: P<0.05. Different superscripts indicate significantly different values (a/b) and values that tend to be different (z/y).
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pone-0025318-g003: Behaviour after weaning.Play behaviour (A), manipulative behaviour (B) and percentage of piglets per pen that vocalized on day 1 after weaning (C). Piglets were exposed to Flavour through the maternal diet or were Control piglets, housed in postweaning pens containing the flavour in the Food or in the Air. Please note the differences in scale. *: P<0.05. Different superscripts indicate significantly different values (a/b) and values that tend to be different (z/y).

Mentions: Piglets that were exposed to flavour preweaning showed more play behaviour in the first two weeks postweaning (F(1,43) = 7.60, P = 0.009, Figure 3A). Play behaviour tended to be higher for Flavour-Air piglets than for piglets from other treatments (preweaning×postweaning interaction, F(1,43) = 3.17, P = 0.08, Figure 3A) and was unaffected by postweaning treatment (P = 0.16). Piglets that were exposed to flavour before weaning tended to manipulate pen mates less than control piglets (F(1,43) = 3.22, P = 0.08, Figure 3B). Manipulative behaviour was unaffected by postweaning treatment (P = 0.51) and its interaction with preweaning treatment (P = 0.54). The percentage of pigs that vocalized per pen tended to be lower for the Flavour piglets on day 1 after weaning than for Control piglets (F(1,35) = 3.93, P = 0.06, Figure 3C). Vocalizations were unaffected by postweaning treatment (P = 0.45) and its interaction with preweaning treatment (P = 0.47).


Perinatal flavour learning and adaptation to being weaned: all the pig needs is smell.

Oostindjer M, Bolhuis JE, Simon K, van den Brand H, Kemp B - PLoS ONE (2011)

Behaviour after weaning.Play behaviour (A), manipulative behaviour (B) and percentage of piglets per pen that vocalized on day 1 after weaning (C). Piglets were exposed to Flavour through the maternal diet or were Control piglets, housed in postweaning pens containing the flavour in the Food or in the Air. Please note the differences in scale. *: P<0.05. Different superscripts indicate significantly different values (a/b) and values that tend to be different (z/y).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3198439&req=5

pone-0025318-g003: Behaviour after weaning.Play behaviour (A), manipulative behaviour (B) and percentage of piglets per pen that vocalized on day 1 after weaning (C). Piglets were exposed to Flavour through the maternal diet or were Control piglets, housed in postweaning pens containing the flavour in the Food or in the Air. Please note the differences in scale. *: P<0.05. Different superscripts indicate significantly different values (a/b) and values that tend to be different (z/y).
Mentions: Piglets that were exposed to flavour preweaning showed more play behaviour in the first two weeks postweaning (F(1,43) = 7.60, P = 0.009, Figure 3A). Play behaviour tended to be higher for Flavour-Air piglets than for piglets from other treatments (preweaning×postweaning interaction, F(1,43) = 3.17, P = 0.08, Figure 3A) and was unaffected by postweaning treatment (P = 0.16). Piglets that were exposed to flavour before weaning tended to manipulate pen mates less than control piglets (F(1,43) = 3.22, P = 0.08, Figure 3B). Manipulative behaviour was unaffected by postweaning treatment (P = 0.51) and its interaction with preweaning treatment (P = 0.54). The percentage of pigs that vocalized per pen tended to be lower for the Flavour piglets on day 1 after weaning than for Control piglets (F(1,35) = 3.93, P = 0.06, Figure 3C). Vocalizations were unaffected by postweaning treatment (P = 0.45) and its interaction with preweaning treatment (P = 0.47).

Bottom Line: Previously we found positive effects of perinatal flavour learning on food intake, growth and behaviour of piglets postweaning, but no increased preference for the flavour.Few interaction effects were found between preweaning and postweaning treatment, and no effects of postweaning treatment.We conclude that in the newly weaned pig, perinatal flavour learning results in a reduction of stress when the familiar flavour is present, regardless of providing the flavour in the food or in the air.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. marije.oostindjer@wur.nl

ABSTRACT
Perinatal flavour learning through the maternal diet is known to enhance flavour preference and acceptance of flavoured food in many species, yet still little is known about the mechanism underlying perinatal flavour learning. Previously we found positive effects of perinatal flavour learning on food intake, growth and behaviour of piglets postweaning, but no increased preference for the flavour. This suggests that flavour learning in pigs works through a reduction of weaning stress by the presence of the familiar flavour instead. The aim of this study was to investigate whether perinatal flavour learning reduces stress at weaning, and whether the effect is stronger when the familiar flavour is present in the food. Sows were offered an anethol-flavoured diet (Flavour treatment) or control diet (Control treatment) during late gestation and lactation. Flavour and Control piglets were provided with anethol either in their food (Food treatment) or in the air (Air treatment) after weaning. Preweaning and postweaning treatments did not affect food intake, preference or growth in the first two weeks postweaning but flavour treatment reduced the latency to eat (24 versus 35 hours, P = 0.02) and within-pen variation in growth (SD within-pen: 0.7 versus 1.2 kg, P<0.001). Salivary cortisol levels tended to be lower four and seven hours postweaning for Flavour piglets compared to Control piglets (4 hours: 2.5 versus 3.0 ng/ml, P = 0.05, 7 hours: 3.1 versus 3.4 ng/ml, P = 0.08). Flavour piglets played more and showed less damaging behaviours than Control piglets, indicating that the familiar flavour reduced stress around weaning. Few interaction effects were found between preweaning and postweaning treatment, and no effects of postweaning treatment. We conclude that in the newly weaned pig, perinatal flavour learning results in a reduction of stress when the familiar flavour is present, regardless of providing the flavour in the food or in the air.

Show MeSH