A new study conducted by a team of British scientists revealed that domestic pigs could have mood swings, just like humans. In addition, as the study points out, depending on their housing and living conditions, domestic pigs can be either pessimistic or optimistic.
Published in the journal Biology Letters on Wednesday, the study proves that domestic pigs can have a personality of their own and even mood swings. To test out their theories, the team of scientists rounded up 36 adult pigs. Twenty-four of them were male, and twelve were female.
For the purpose of this project, the scientists divided the domestic pigs into two groups and placed them in separate housings. Each of them were similar in design, but one of them had deeper straw and was more spacious than other.
In the first experiment, the scientists wanted to assess how the two groups of domestic pigs would react when they are introduced to new items. According to the preliminary results, the pigs that were placed in the more comfortable quarters were optimistic and more curious about new objects.
On the other hand, the domestic pigs kept in less comfortable quarters were more cautious about new objects – almost a bit pessimistic, the researchers added.
In the second experiment, researchers wanted to ascertain what happens in the two groups when their food bowls were moved. Each bowl was filled either with cholate sweets or with coffee beans. In addition, the type of food was coated in sugar as to mask the smell.
Note that up until now, the food bowls stood on the opposite side of each room. After the researcher moved the food bowls to the middle of the room, they have observed that optimistic pigs are more likely to go after it than pessimist pigs.
The researchers noted that pigs could be susceptible to mood swings just like humans. Everything from living conditions to food can impact the way they feel, or they act. Furthermore, Lisa Collins, one of the study’s co-author, declared that these simple experiments proved that non-human animals clearly show personality traits and can have different moods depending on external factors and stimuli.
To end the pig’s mood swings research in a jovial tone, the researcher said that optimistic pigs might have tastier bacon than their crestfallen peers.
Image source: Wikipedia
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