Glossary

AGGRESSION- any physical, hostile behavior between conspecifics that is intended to cause harm, injury, or intimidation

AGONISTIC BEHAVIOR- includes the fight or flight response and any aggressive or passive behaviors among conspecifics

ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION - procedure that involves the collection of semen from a male conspecific and its insemination in the female via a tool

AVOIDANCE- maintaining a certain distance from a dominant animal; immediately deferring when confronted.

BOAR- a male pig or Hog

CANNIBALISM- usually involves injury followed by the consumption of blood and tissues of conspecifics

CONSPECIFICS- members of the same species

COPULATION- sexual intercourse

COURTSHIP- pre-copulatory behavior, usually by the male, that tests the female receptivity toward mating; initiates sexual behavior

DAM- general term for mother

DOMINANCE- the act of establishing social status within a group of animals; often times the result of aggression directed over access to recourses, the fact or state of being dominant or the position of highest authority in a social hierarchy

ESTRUS- period of the estrous cycle in which behavioral changes occur in female animals due to the release of the hormones, primarily estrogen; females are receptive of males and will standing to be mounted.  Secondary signs include:   swollen vulva, changes in vocalizations, nervous activity, loss of appetite, increased vaginal mucous

FARROW- term for swine parturition

FEATHER PECKING- characterized by the pecking at and/or pulling out of the feathers of conspecifics

GILT- female pig that has never farrowed

GROOMING- relates to taking care of the external surface of the body; functions to remove dirt, parasites, or other matter from the skin, fur, feathers, etc.; it is often performed as a social act.  It is used for the maintenance of feathers or fur for protection, insulation, and flight, while keeping the outer body surface in good condition

HEAT- period of sexual excitement by female animals; also see ESTRUS

HIERARCHY- position in the chain of command that is established by aggression and maintained through ritualized dominance.  Though not all animals in the hierarchy will fight one another, just those that are close in rank to attempt to overtake a rival

JUVENILE BEHAVIOR- The juvenile phase is the time between the neonatal and pubertal stages.  Animals spend this time learning and perfecting behaviors that will be beneficial in their adult lives.  Activities during this time slowly shift from maternal reliance to establishing a more independent role in the herd.

KID- a young goat

LORDOSIS- primary sign of estrus in pigs; the physical immobilization of the female by locking her joints to prepare for mounting, a reflex observed only in estrus

MATERNAL BONDING- the recognition and attachment that is present between mother and calf

MILK LETDOWN- reflex in which the stimuli causes milk production

NEONATE- refers to any newborn. An infant in human terms

NEOPHOBIA- “neos” new, “phobos” fear- fear of new things

PARTURITION- act of giving birth, occurs in three stages

    Stage 1- Characterized by uterine contractions and cervical dilation. The first stage is complete when the fetus has rotated (cow, mare, and ewe) and first enters the cervical canal.

    Stage 2- The first stage ends with the fetus in the cervical canal, the second stage begins from there and includes the first visual landmark, the water breaking, and the subsequent birth.  It ends when the lamb is on the ground.   

Stage 3- Characterized by expulsion of the fetal membranes.

PHEROMONE- a chemical scent specific to conspecifics; often times initiates a physiological response

PREENING- the cleaning and realigning of parts of the feather using the beak; consists of cleaning the feathers of dust and dirt, fluffing and untangling the down feather, and lubricating all feathers

PRECOPULATORY STAGE- stage of sexual behavior that includes finding a mate, courtship of that mate, erection, and penile protrusion

COPULATORY STAGE – stage of sexual behavior that includes mounting, intromission, and ejaculation

POSTCOPULATORY STAGE – stage of sexual behavior that includes dismounting, refractoriness, and memory of the experience (as positive or negative).

RITUALIZED DOMINANCE- passive threats (such as a lowered head to warn of a head butt, or a vocalization) after initial dominance has been established; used to avoid constant aggression to reestablish dominance.  This is an evolutionary mechanism to conserve energy that would be wasted fighting.

SOCIAL GROOMING- fundamental social activity which serves to strengthen the attachment between parent and offspring, maintain a degree of hygiene, and form social bonds and trust among conspecifics

SOW- a mature female pig