ETHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS RELATED TO THE PROCEDURE OF WEARING OR NOT THE TEETH OF PIGLETS IN MATERNITY

Abstract The objective of this study was to evaluate the behavior of piglets and sows regarding the treatment of wearing or not the teeth of the piglets. Sixty-seven swine matrices and 827 piglets were used. The experiment was performed in three locations and the behavioral data was obtained from the ethogram, in the directed form. Piglets were observed every ten minutes for four hours, three times a week. The data were analyzed in a completely randomized design with repeated measures in time. The mixed model was used with the fixed treatment effect, shift, period and their interactions, and the random batch effect using the MIXED procedure of SAS (2008). Fifteen structures of variance and covariance were tested, choosing the one that presented the lowest value for the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). No significant effects were found for the agonistic, stereotyped, playful, and exploratory behavior in relation to the treatments as well as for the whole period evaluated (P>0.05). Significant effects were identified on the suckling behavior, comparing the treatments (P≤0.05). No significant effects were found for the dietary behavior of the matrices (P>0.05). The study differed from drinking for the period evaluated (P≤0.05). Permanence or not of the piglets' teeth can affect important behaviors such as suckling, which is responsible for the efficient weight gain. The wear of the teeth may be unnecessary due to the injuries caused as a result of the mismanagement of this practice. More studies on this theme, seeking further elucidations, are necessary