A brief report on intra-species aggressive biting in a goat herd

TÖLÜ C., Savas T.

APPLIED ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR SCIENCE, vol.102, pp.124-129, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 102
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.03.002
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.124-129
  • Keywords: Turkish Saanen, butting, aggressive biting, places, horn, DOMINANCE HIERARCHIES, SOCIAL-BEHAVIOR, PIGS
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed at analysing the effects of age, horn and places on biting and butting as intraspecies aggressive activities. Seventy-two Turkish Saanen goats were used as animal material and 22,686 aggressive behaviours were recorded in different places from a total of 118 h direct observation. Of the observations of aggressive behaviours, 32.7% was biting behaviour and the rest was butting behaviour. The frequency of biting behaviour in 3 or more years old goats was significantly higher than that of biting behaviour in 1 and 2 years old animals (P < 0.01). The observations revealed that horned or hornless goats exhibited biting behaviour; however the frequency of biting behaviour in hornless goats was 2.38 times higher than in homed goats (P < 0.01). Biting and butting behaviours were found to be well correlated with the area of places (P < 0.01). As the area of places got narrowed, the frequency of biting increased. However, such a trend was not observed in butting behaviour. The frequency of butting behaviour again increased with the increase in social hierarchy (P < 0.01), whereas the frequency of biting behaviour was not affected by social hierarchy (P = 0.30). In conclusion, intra-species biting behaviour, which is thought to have developed as a result of hom absence, should be questioned whether this is unique to the herd or to the genotype. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.