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Influence of stress factors on adaptive and behavioral responses in sows and piglets

The article presents data from the scientific literature describing the influence of stress factors on pigs in modern production conditions. It was established that stress factors that affect sows during gestation period affect fetal development and are important determinants of behavioral disorders in piglets in the future. Conditions for keeping and feeding pregnant sows play an important role in ensuring the behavior of future offspring. Stress of sows in the late stages of gestation can cause a negative longterm effect on the functioning of the immune system of piglets. This reduces the ability of piglets to be effectively protected against infections during lactation and weaning periods. Changes in the endocrine and neurotransmitter systems depend on the gestational period, with late pregnancy being the most sensitive phase in pigs. Ensuring optimal housing conditions for sows and newborn piglets is an important condition for the proper development of protective, feeding and behavioral reflexes and, accordingly, the realization of their productive qualities. Stress factors also affect pigs in the postnatal period of their development. The main stress-inducing factors are the conditions of feeding, maintenance and technological methods associated with ensuring veterinary wellbeing. Early social isolation during the early postnatal life of animals causes persistent changes in their behavioral responses and physiological mechanisms of adaptation. Raising pigs in a depleted environment may indicate the presence of chronic stress and, accordingly, a decrease in the level of welfare, protective and productive qualities in animals. The methods that can reduce stress and improve animal welfare is environmental enrichment and adaptation of the housing environment according to the behavioral needs of animals. Ecological enrichment can be used to preserve or restore physiological homeostasis and behavioral disorders in the post-stress period.

Key words: stress, pigs, adaptation, behavior, immune system, productivity.



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