When Nursery Pigs are not Approaching a Human Observer What are They Doing?

  • Shawna Weimer (Iowa State University)
  • Anna K. Johnson (Iowa State University)
  • Howard D. Tyler (Iowa State University)
  • Kenneth J. Stalder (Iowa State University)
  • Locke A. Karriker (Iowa State University)
  • Thomas Fangman (Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.)


The objective of this experiment was to determine the behaviors and postures of nursery aged pigs when classified as “not approaching” a human observer when using a digital image. A total of 1,817, ~6 wk old mixed sexed nursery pigs were used. Pigs were housed in commercial nursery pens. The approachability of pigs followed procedures used by Fangman et al., (2010). Pigs were classified into three categories (1) Approachability (2) Look and (3) Not. Not pigs were further descriptively categorized into four postures (stand, sit, lie and pile) and two behaviors (head in feeder and mouth around drinker). Results will be presented descriptively. A total of 860 pigs were either classified as approaching the observer or looking at the observer, and 957 classified as “Not” (52.7%). Of those pigs classified as “Not” the majority were standing, followed by sitting, and only 2.6% of pigs were classified as piling. Therefore, in conclusion, 97.3% of pigs classified as “Not”, were engaged in behaviors and postures not considered to be fearful of the human in their pen.

Keywords: ASL R2730

How to Cite:

Weimer, S., Johnson, A. K., Tyler, H. D., Stalder, K. J., Karriker, L. A. & Fangman, T., (2012) “When Nursery Pigs are not Approaching a Human Observer What are They Doing?”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 9(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-855

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Published on
01 Jan 2012
Peer Reviewed