Stress in piglets undergoing routine surgical procedures related to managemental practices was
assessed in the present study. Sixty male piglets formed ten treatments with six replicates. Treatments
undertaken were ear notching, handling for ear notching, castration, sham castration (restrained
identically but not castrated), combined handling and performance of ear notching and castration.
Behaviour was observed during four different time frames viz: 30 minutes before the treatment,
during the treatment, 30 minutes after the treatment and 24 hours after the treatment respectively.
In one-week-old piglets, though the stress related behavioural scores due to ear notching was higher
during the procedure, the scores got decreased after 30 minutes and 24 hours of ear notching. The
scores were intermediate in the combined performance of ear notching and castration compared to
individual performance at one week. Castrates at eight weeks showed fewer stress related behaviours
than the castrates at one week of age.