Behavior of grazing European wild boar (Sus scrofa) in a semi-extensive production system
In the semi-extensive farming systems that are used to raise European wild boar in countries such as Chile, the behavior of the animals in paddocks has not been studied and is important for managing the system. The objective of the present study was to determine the proportion of time that grazing wild boar spent on different activities and the distribution of these activities during the day. The study was conducted in paddocks containing Cynodon dactylon, Lolium perenne and Poa pratensis. A total of 35 purebred European wild boars with a liveweight (average + SEM) of 37.4 + 1.11 kg with noserings were used in the study. The animals were in the paddocks from 08:30 h until 16:30 h, after which they had free access to a commercial diet for one hour and were kept in a barn until the following day. The activity of each animal was observed every 5 minutes throughout the grazing period, with the activities categorized as grazing, rooting (either with the snout or foot), walking, running, playing, lying down, drinking or other activities. Overall, throughout the grazing time, the animals spent 26% of their time grazing, 17% rooting, 7% walking, 3% playing, 2% drinking and 44% lying down. When the animals entered the paddock in the morning, they grazed intensively, as 74% of observations were of grazing during the first half hour. Gradually the observations of grazing decreased, reaching the lowest number between 12:00 and 12:30 h, when only one animal was observed to graze at one timepoint. The number of animals observed lying down gradually increased over the morning. In the afternoon, the proportion of animals grazing gradually increased, reaching a maximum of 27% of animals grazing at 15:00 h. Over an 8-hour period with access to pasture, European wild boar spent a significant amount of time grazing (26%). The intensity of grazing was high when they first entered the paddock and decreased gradually over the next four hours, increasing slightly again toward the end of the 8-hour period.