Male steroids (hormones) influence the brain development of male pigs. The pigs become less female and more male. As they age, the steroids also increase performance leading male pigs to display sexual, more aggressive behaviour. Incidentally, this process is little different in humans.
During the initial weeks after birth, male piglets already produce large amounts of steroids (such as testosterone, androstenone and oestrogen). There is a marked decrease in steroid levels between 2 and 5 months after birth and then a return to adult levels. The quantity of steroids in male pigs’ brains is responsible for their often boisterous behaviour.
During the five-year research programme ‘Boars Heading for 2018’ studies were carried out as to which substances have the greatest influence on this process and influence the animals’ behaviour most.
Detailed information can be obtained straight from the researcher in question. For the (English-language) research report and contact details click here.