Nursing synchronization and milk ejection failure as maternal strategies to reduce allosuckling in pair-housed sows (Sus scrofa domestica)
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The frequency of allosuckling attempts, non-nutritive nursings and allosuckling during milk ejection was analyzed for every pair for every day of observation. The observed frequency of nursing synchronization was high. The median interval between the start of a nursing within one pair of sows was 32 s. The first prediction was supported since synchronization became significantly tighter when piglets were given the possibility to allosuckle on Day. The second prediction was also supported; the nursings were less closely synchronized when there were allosuckling attempts. Of all nursings, 36% had an allosuckling attempt; however, only 17% resulted in real allosuckling. Evidence in favour of the third prediction was also found as non-nutritive nursings were more frequent in non-synchronized nursings.
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