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Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange


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Defining the behaviour of different pig genotypes

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Research partners: University of Leeds

Industry partners: AHDB Pork-funded studentship (Helen Clarke)

Duration: 2007-2008 

Aims and objectives

To compare the behaviours of three genotypes of pig in their response to several human-interaction tests. 


  • Large White type pigs were consistently found to be the most confident genotype when faced with human contact
  • Large White types accrued relatively high numbers of lesions, particularly to the shoulders
  • Hampshire type pigs were the shyest genotype, and proved most difficult to manage when driving, due to a lack of willingness to move
  • Hampshire type pigs were found to accrue far fewer lesions post mixing in comparison to the other genotypes and those lesions found were focused on the ears
  • Hampshire type pigs were difficult to control when loading into weighing apparatus, and hard to contain
  • Pietrain type pigs’ behaviour fell between these two extremes; they tended to bolt away from human contact when being driven, which gave them the quickest time to complete courses, but made management more difficult
  • Pietrain type accrued similar numbers of lesions as Large White type pigs and again to the shoulders. 

Further information