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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) Piglets prevented from nursing due to the rubberized fabric. (b) Piglets after the nursing constraint.
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animals-03-00923-f002: (a) Piglets prevented from nursing due to the rubberized fabric. (b) Piglets after the nursing constraint.

Mentions: Similarly to the previous trial, the animals were kept in the pens for 2 hours, prior to the hunger distress. Nursing was constrained from the piglets. The sow’s body was covered with a rubberized fabric tied at the ends with strings, covering the teats (Figure 2(a)); thus, preventing the piglets from nursing. The vocal signal was recorded 30 minutes after the piglets had their last nursing bout. Although this might also indicate frustration for not reaching the sows’ teats, it was assumed they were hungry as they approached the sow to nurse immediately after the removal of the rubberized fabric (Figure 2(b)).


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) Piglets prevented from nursing due to the rubberized fabric. (b) Piglets after the nursing constraint.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-03-00923-f002: (a) Piglets prevented from nursing due to the rubberized fabric. (b) Piglets after the nursing constraint.
Mentions: Similarly to the previous trial, the animals were kept in the pens for 2 hours, prior to the hunger distress. Nursing was constrained from the piglets. The sow’s body was covered with a rubberized fabric tied at the ends with strings, covering the teats (Figure 2(a)); thus, preventing the piglets from nursing. The vocal signal was recorded 30 minutes after the piglets had their last nursing bout. Although this might also indicate frustration for not reaching the sows’ teats, it was assumed they were hungry as they approached the sow to nurse immediately after the removal of the rubberized fabric (Figure 2(b)).

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