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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) Vocalization’s sonogram of piglets under normal welfare (baseline); (b) vocalization’s sonogram of piglets being squeezed (assumed to produce pain); (c) vocalization's sonogram of piglets feeling cold; (d) vocalization's sonogram piglets feeling hunger. The formants (dotted red line), the sound intensity (yellow line), and the frequency of pitch (in blue line) are shown in each sonogram.
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animals-03-00923-f003: (a) Vocalization’s sonogram of piglets under normal welfare (baseline); (b) vocalization’s sonogram of piglets being squeezed (assumed to produce pain); (c) vocalization's sonogram of piglets feeling cold; (d) vocalization's sonogram piglets feeling hunger. The formants (dotted red line), the sound intensity (yellow line), and the frequency of pitch (in blue line) are shown in each sonogram.

Mentions: Figure 3 shows the vocalizations’ sonogram of piglets in (a) normal welfare status (baseline); (b) in assumed pain; (c) feeling cold, and (d) in hunger distress. The curve of sound intensity showed different profiles for the four studied conditions. Differences in the frequency of pitch were also observed; however, the investigation of the formants differences was more complex. The sonogram represents the initial examination of the data, requiring the extraction of numerical data from these parameters to determine the stress conditions.


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) Vocalization’s sonogram of piglets under normal welfare (baseline); (b) vocalization’s sonogram of piglets being squeezed (assumed to produce pain); (c) vocalization's sonogram of piglets feeling cold; (d) vocalization's sonogram piglets feeling hunger. The formants (dotted red line), the sound intensity (yellow line), and the frequency of pitch (in blue line) are shown in each sonogram.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-03-00923-f003: (a) Vocalization’s sonogram of piglets under normal welfare (baseline); (b) vocalization’s sonogram of piglets being squeezed (assumed to produce pain); (c) vocalization's sonogram of piglets feeling cold; (d) vocalization's sonogram piglets feeling hunger. The formants (dotted red line), the sound intensity (yellow line), and the frequency of pitch (in blue line) are shown in each sonogram.
Mentions: Figure 3 shows the vocalizations’ sonogram of piglets in (a) normal welfare status (baseline); (b) in assumed pain; (c) feeling cold, and (d) in hunger distress. The curve of sound intensity showed different profiles for the four studied conditions. Differences in the frequency of pitch were also observed; however, the investigation of the formants differences was more complex. The sonogram represents the initial examination of the data, requiring the extraction of numerical data from these parameters to determine the stress conditions.

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