Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Animal Science


Huang, Yan

Committee Member/Reader

Rogers, Lauren

Committee Member/Second Reader

Littlejohn, Brittini


In the commercial pig production industry, weaning is a stressful time. Stress is related to loss in production due to increased incidence of illness, increased aggression, and reduced rate of gain, which results in economic losses for the producer. The purpose of this continuous behavior study was to explore the effects of provisional own-mother olfactory and auditory stimuli on early weaned piglet behavior and growth. During days 7-14 postpartum, the grunting of 12 individual sows was recorded while their piglets nursed. The audio files were put into a single loop with grunting occurring for 20 minutes followed by 60 minutes of silence. A cotton cloth was rubbed along the ventral midline of each sow and vacuum sealed to preserve scent. Eight piglets per litter (4 male and 4 female) for each of 12 litters were selected and randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: control (CON, no scent, no vocal), scent (S), vocal (V), and vocal with scent (VS). Piglets were weighed and transported to an offsite nursery at 19 days of age. VS group was exposed to the vocalization loop for 7 days and cloths with their own mother’s scent for 48 hours. V group was provided the vocalization loop for 7 days and cloths with no scent for 48 hours. S group was provided cloth with mother’s scent for 48 hours. CON group was exposed to cloths with no scent for 48 hours. Behaviors deemed important to the study were approaching the scent towers curious, approaching the scent towers interested, approach feeder, feeding, and fighting. Behaviors were monitored with continual video recording for 7 days. Piglets weight was recorded on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 42. GLIMMEX Mixed Model Procedure SAS (Cary, NC) was used for data analysis. Results demonstrated that the scent groups had a significant reduction of fighting (p


continuous behavior study, olfactory stimuli, auditory stimuli, weaning stress, piglet behavior