Adrenal and behavioral responses in swine restricted to varying degrees of mobility were examined to determine what component may impose chronic stress. The components of restriction considered were the inability to turn around and/or move freely. For 5 to 6 weeks 32 pigs were restrained such that pigs A) could move freely; B) could not turn around or move freely; C) could not turn around but could move back and forth the same distance as pigs in A; or D) could turn around but not move freely. After 4 weeks no significant differences due to degrees of restraint were found in the profile of serum cortisol concentrations, neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio and ambulatory abilities; however overall cortisol concentrations were higher in pigs that could turn around but not move freely. Increases in serum cortisol due to ACTH injection were higher in pigs that could turn around but not move freely. No alterations in the manner in which gilts stood up and layed down could be observed. Collectively these data suggest that swine adapt when mobility is restricted to not turning around and not moving freely but cannot when animals can turn around but not move freely. © 1989.
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