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Bucks reared in close contact with adult does prefer to interact with females than with males

Lacuesta, Lorena, Giriboni, Julia, Orihuela, Agustín, Ungerfeld, Rodolfo
Small ruminant research 2018 v.162 pp. 22-24
Saanen, adults, bucks, nannygoats, puberty, rearing
Social relationships at early stages of sexual development of animals may affect their adult social preferences. The aim of the present experiment was to determine if heterosexual environment during rearing influences adult bucks’ social preference for a female or a male goat. While seven Saanen male kids were maintained during their first year in permanent close contact with four adult female goats (group FEM), other nine remained isolated from females (group ISO). When bucks were 12months old, females were removed and both groups were joined together. After 11months, each buck was individually subjected to a sex choice test lasting five minutes, selecting between an unknown male or non-estrous female goat. The first proximity area at which the bucks entered, the time spent in each area, and the number of times that each buck entered into each area were recorded. Bucks of FEM and ISO groups did not have significant differences in the area they entered first. There was no difference in the number of times that FEM or ISO bucks entered into each area (FEM: 1.7±0.3 vs 1.1±0.2 for female and male areas; ISO: 1.1±0.3 vs 1.1±0.3; n.s.). However, while the time in which ISO bucks remained in the female and male areas did not differ significantly (107.4±27.0s vs 61.2±31.9s in female and male areas, respectively, n.s.), FEM bucks stayed more time in the female than in the male area (138.8±34.8s vs 47.4±23.6s in female and male areas, respectively, P=0.15). It is concluded that bucks that were reared in permanent contact with adult female goats during their pre-pubertal period preferred social contact with non-estrous females than with males, while those that were reared isolated from them did not show any social preference for males or females.