Social network analysis of agonistic behaviour and its association with economically important traits in pigs
Sánchez, Juan Pablo
Aggression behaviour has several negative consequences on the performance and welfare of pigs. Here, the Social Network Analysis (SNA) approach was employed to (1) identify individual traits that describe the role of each animal in the aggression; (2) investigate the association of these traits with performance and feeding behaviour traits. The study was conducted on 326 Duroc pigs reared in 29 pens. Several individual centrality traits were identified and used to calculate the Social Rank Index. The Dominant, Subordinate, and Isolated animals represented 21.1%, 57.5% and 21.4%, respectively. No significant correlations were observed between out-degree (number of initiated agonistic behaviours) and growth traits, indicating the similarity of growth patterns for dominant and non-dominant animals. Furthermore, out-degree was correlated positively with average daily occupation time (time at the feeder/day) and average daily feeding frequency (number of visits to the feeder/day) but negatively with average daily feeding rate (gr/min). This may indicate the ability of non-dominant pigs to modify their behaviour to obtain their requirements. The Hamming distances between networks showed that there is no common behaviour pattern between pens. In conclusion, SNA showed the potential for extracting behaviour traits that could be used to improve pig performance and welfare.
575 - Genètica general. Citogenètica general. Immunogenètica. Evolució. Filogènia
636 - Explotació i cria d'animals. Cria del bestiar i d'animals domèstics
Is part of
Agha, Saif, Emma Fàbrega, Raquel Quintanilla, and Juan Pablo Sánchez. 2020. "Social Network Analysis Of Agonistic Behaviour And Its Association With Economically Important Traits In Pigs". Animals 10 (11): 2123. doi:10.3390/ani10112123.
Grant agreement number
EC/H2020/633531/EU/Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems/Feed-a-Gene
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