Environmental enrichment and stress relief in pigs
Credit: Journal of Animal Science, Volume 99, Issue 5, May 2021, skab113, https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skab11
Publisher: American Society of Animal Science
Rights: Name must appear as a credit whenever the image is used- Journal of Animal Science, Volume 99, Issue 5, May 2021, skab113, https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skab113
Description: Animal welfare programs implement external stimuli to relieve stress which may promote health and growth of the animal. Effective design of enrichment programs rely upon an improved understanding of animal cognition (Nawroth et al., 2019). In piglets, early life socialization can modify their behavioral responses to food rewards and other cognitive tests later in life (Weller et al., 2019; Weller et al., 2020). While the mechanism underlying cognitive and behavioral responses to stimuli remain largely unresolved, the positive impact of enrichment on animal physiology is apparent. For example, music is a simple enrichment tool that dampens stress in dogs (Lindig et al., 2020), horses (Lansade et al., 2014; Wisniewska et al., 2019) and piglets (Li et al., 2019). In this issue, Angarita et al. (2021) and Li et al. (2021) examine feeding behavior and response to music in pigs. Results provide further insight into the social behavior of young pigs and their possible effects on health.