A note on the effects of two versus one feeder locations on the feeding behaviour and growth performance of pigs in a deep-litter, large group housing system

Rebecca Sargent Morrison, Lee J Johnston, Adrienne M. Hilbrands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that reducing the distance that the pig must travel to feed in a deep-litter, large group system will result in shorter, more frequent feeding bouts, thus improving pig growth performance (feed intake, growth rate and feed:gain). The experiment studied pigs from 9 to 22 weeks of age, using 720 crossbred pigs. There were two trials conducted, utilising 360 pigs each time. The two treatments were: (A) maximum distance to travel to the feeder (MAX) - one feeder located on the north end of the pen and (B) minimum distance to travel to feeder (MIN) - two feeders: one located on the north end of the pen and one at the south end. Feeding behaviour was observed at 14 and 22 weeks of age. There was no evidence to support the hypothesis that reducing the distance that the pigs had to travel to feed, by placing a second feeding station in the pen, produced shorter and more frequent feeding events (P > 0.05) and improved growth performance (P > 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume107
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

Keywords

  • Deep-litter
  • Feeding behaviour
  • Group size
  • Large groups
  • Pig-social behaviour

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