Examination of high-resolution feed intake data of grower finisher pigs confronted with typical short-term disturbances in stable routine

https://doi.org/10.17221/25/2020-CJASCitation:Loibl P., Windisch W., Preißinger W. (2020): Examination of high-resolution feed intake data of grower finisher pigs confronted with typical short-term disturbances in stable routine. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 65: 258-267.
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Modern pig feeding systems allow the collection of highly detailed feeding data for each animal. These data enable the examination of individual feeding behaviours to assess an animal’s wellbeing. As such, four different treatments ‒ undisturbed control, starving (no feed for 24 h, restrictive feeding), feed change (changes in feed composition) and social stress (exchanging of animals between the pens and short-term reduction of accessible water) ‒ were designed to simulate typical short-term disturbances in a practical stable routine. Each treatment was conducted over 2 pens with 12 animals each. Zootechnical performance and feed intake behaviour measures were assessed for each animal. Treatments did not affect zootechnical performance. Results showed that short-term disturbances did not influence feed intake behaviours, such as daily feed intake, amount of intake per feeder visit, number of daily feeder visits and daily feeding action with highest feed intake. Animals developed individual feeding patterns that persisted through artificial short-term disturbances. However, data suggested that an individual animal’s behavioural pattern was strongly influenced by the group (pen) due to group dynamics among animals.

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