Mammalian Biology

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 332–338 | Cite as

Behaviour of European wild boar (Sus scrofa) in connection with farrowing in an enclosure

  • Annelie Andersson
  • Riikka Äänismaa
  • Jenni Huusko
  • Per JensenEmail author
Original Investigation


Wild boars (Sus scrofa) are often kept in enclosures for hunting or meat production purposes in Sweden. The sows are known to undergo behavioural changes in connection with farrowing and their natural behaviours may be compromised by the limited area of the enclosure. The aim of this study was to quantitatively describe wild boar sows’ behaviour when farrowing in an enclosure. A field study was carried out in a hunting enclosure, where 1200 h of behavioural recordings and data from 22 farrowings were collected. According to the results, the farrowing period could be divided into 3 phases: pre-farrowing, isolation and sociality phases (in relation to farrowing: day −14 to −1, day 1–8, day 9–14 respectively). The activity decreased during isolation and increased in the sociality phase (p < 0.05), whereas the average distance to other individuals increased during isolation and decreased in the sociality phase (p < 0.05). Nose contacts with other individuals increased in the isolation phase (p < 0.05) and habitat use changed towards more protective habitats after farrowing. 68% of the nests were situated in edges between 2 habitats of different vegetation density and 73% had some kind of protection to the north. We conclude that farrowing induces a number of changes in the activity, social behaviour and habitat preference in captive European wild boars. This may need attention when enclosures for this species are designed.


Wild boar Behaviour Farrowing Enclosure 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annelie Andersson
    • 1
  • Riikka Äänismaa
    • 1
  • Jenni Huusko
    • 1
  • Per Jensen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IFM Biology, Division of ZoologyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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