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Understanding Vocalization Might Help to Assess Stressful Conditions in Piglets.

da Silva Cordeiro AF, de Alencar Nääs I, Oliveira SR, Violaro F, de Almeida AC, Neves DP - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: A unidirectional microphone positioned about 15 cm from the animals' mouth was used for recording the acoustic signals.The microphone was connected to a digital recorder, where the signals were digitized at the 44,100 Hz frequency.The J48 decision tree algorithm available at the Weka(®) data mining software was used for stress classification.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Agricultural Engineering College, State University of Campinas, Ave. Candido Rondon, 501, Campinas, SP, 13083-875, Brazil. alexandracordeiro6@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Assessing pigs' welfare is one of the most challenging subjects in intensive pig farming. Animal vocalization analysis is a noninvasive procedure and may be used as a tool for assessing animal welfare status. The objective of this research was to identify stress conditions in piglets reared in farrowing pens through their vocalization. Vocal signals were collected from 40 animals under the following situations: normal (baseline), feeling cold, in pain, and feeling hunger. A unidirectional microphone positioned about 15 cm from the animals' mouth was used for recording the acoustic signals. The microphone was connected to a digital recorder, where the signals were digitized at the 44,100 Hz frequency. The collected sounds were edited and analyzed. The J48 decision tree algorithm available at the Weka(®) data mining software was used for stress classification. It was possible to categorize diverse conditions from the piglets' vocalization during the farrowing phase (pain, cold and hunger), with an accuracy rate of 81.12%. Results indicated that vocalization might be an effective welfare indicator, and it could be applied for assessing distress from pain, cold and hunger in farrowing piglets.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) Animal isolated in the corridor. (b) Assumed pain stress; piglet firmly held by the animal handler.
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animals-03-00923-f001: (a) Animal isolated in the corridor. (b) Assumed pain stress; piglet firmly held by the animal handler.

Mentions: We recorded individual vocalization from 40 piglets (20 males and 20 females) aged 22 weeks under different stress situations during the farrowing phase. For the sound recording, the animals were randomly selected and individually isolated in a corridor (Figure 1(a)) with limited visual contact with others through a slatted wall. Vocal signals were recorded from the animals under the following situations: normal (baseline, within their thermal comfort zone, pain-free and with access to nursing); followed by the pain distress (consisting of a firmer squeeze than a simple restraint by the animal handler, Figure 1(b)). After the distress by assumed pain, the animals returned to their pens for 2 hours, when normal behavior was observed, and afterwards they were again randomly selected and exposed to the next distress.


Understanding Vocalization Might Help to Assess Stressful Conditions in Piglets.

da Silva Cordeiro AF, de Alencar Nääs I, Oliveira SR, Violaro F, de Almeida AC, Neves DP - Animals (Basel) (2013)

(a) Animal isolated in the corridor. (b) Assumed pain stress; piglet firmly held by the animal handler.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494434&req=5

animals-03-00923-f001: (a) Animal isolated in the corridor. (b) Assumed pain stress; piglet firmly held by the animal handler.
Mentions: We recorded individual vocalization from 40 piglets (20 males and 20 females) aged 22 weeks under different stress situations during the farrowing phase. For the sound recording, the animals were randomly selected and individually isolated in a corridor (Figure 1(a)) with limited visual contact with others through a slatted wall. Vocal signals were recorded from the animals under the following situations: normal (baseline, within their thermal comfort zone, pain-free and with access to nursing); followed by the pain distress (consisting of a firmer squeeze than a simple restraint by the animal handler, Figure 1(b)). After the distress by assumed pain, the animals returned to their pens for 2 hours, when normal behavior was observed, and afterwards they were again randomly selected and exposed to the next distress.

Bottom Line: A unidirectional microphone positioned about 15 cm from the animals' mouth was used for recording the acoustic signals.The microphone was connected to a digital recorder, where the signals were digitized at the 44,100 Hz frequency.The J48 decision tree algorithm available at the Weka(®) data mining software was used for stress classification.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Agricultural Engineering College, State University of Campinas, Ave. Candido Rondon, 501, Campinas, SP, 13083-875, Brazil. alexandracordeiro6@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Assessing pigs' welfare is one of the most challenging subjects in intensive pig farming. Animal vocalization analysis is a noninvasive procedure and may be used as a tool for assessing animal welfare status. The objective of this research was to identify stress conditions in piglets reared in farrowing pens through their vocalization. Vocal signals were collected from 40 animals under the following situations: normal (baseline), feeling cold, in pain, and feeling hunger. A unidirectional microphone positioned about 15 cm from the animals' mouth was used for recording the acoustic signals. The microphone was connected to a digital recorder, where the signals were digitized at the 44,100 Hz frequency. The collected sounds were edited and analyzed. The J48 decision tree algorithm available at the Weka(®) data mining software was used for stress classification. It was possible to categorize diverse conditions from the piglets' vocalization during the farrowing phase (pain, cold and hunger), with an accuracy rate of 81.12%. Results indicated that vocalization might be an effective welfare indicator, and it could be applied for assessing distress from pain, cold and hunger in farrowing piglets.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus