Examination of high-resolution feed intake data of grower finisher pigs confronted with typical short-term disturbances in stable routine
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.
Ballari SA, Barrios-Garcia MN. A review of wild boar Sus scrofa diet and factors affecting food selection in native and introduced ranges. Mam Rev. 2014 Apr;44(2):124-34. https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12015
Broom DM. The scientific assessment of animal welfare. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1988 Jul 1;20(1-2):5-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/0168-1591(88)90122-0
Cahill VR, Teague HS, Kunkle LE, Moxon AL, Rutledge EA. Measurement of and ways of affecting sex-influenced performance of growing-finishing swine. J Anim Sci. 1960 Nov 1;19(4):1036-40. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas1960.1941036x
Cole DJA, Duckworth JE, Holmes W. Factors affecting voluntary feed intake in pigs – 3. The effect of a period of feed restriction, nutrient density of the diet and sex on intake, performance and carcass characteristics. Anim Sci. 1968 Nov;10(4):345-57. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003356100026386
Cox S. Precision livestock farming’07: Papers Presented at the 3rd European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming, Skiathos, Greece, 3–6 June 2007. Wageningen Academic Pub; 2007.
Czycholl I. The role of fibre with respect to feeding behaviour. Proceedings of the Conference of the Society of Nutrition Physiology, March 13th to 15th, 2018. Göttingen; 2018. p. 193-5.
Eurostat. Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics. Luxembourg; 2019.
Ewbank R. Social hierarchy in suckling and fattening pigs: A review. Livest Prod Sci. 1976 Dec 1;3(4):363-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/0301-6226(76)90070-1
Hale OM, Southwell BL. Differences in swine performance and carcass characteristics because of dietary protein level, sex and breed. J Anim Sci. 1967 Mar 1;26(2):341-4. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas1967.262341x
Hameenoja P. Animal health and welfare – Pig production. Acta Vet Scand Suppl. 2002 Mar 1;95:33-6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1751-0147-43-S1-S33
Kallabis KE, Kaufmann O. Effect of a high-fibre diet on the feeding behaviour of fattening pigs. Arch Tierzucht. 2012 Oct 10;55(3):272-84. https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-55-272-2012
Kirchgeßner M, Stangl G, Schwarz FJ, Roth FX, Sudekum KH, Eder K. Tierernährung [Animal nutrition]. 14th ed. Frankfurt: DLG-Verlag; 2014. German.
Lassen J, Sandoe P, Forkman B. Happy pigs are dirty! – Conflicting perspectives on animal welfare. Livest Sci. 2006 Sep 1;103(3):221-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2006.05.008
Nielsen BL. On the interpretation of feeding behaviour measures and the use of feeding rate as an indicator of social constraint. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1999 Mar 1;63(1):79-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00003-9
Nielsen BL, Lawrence AB, Whittemore CT. Effects of single-space feeder design on feeding behaviour and performance of growing pigs. Anim Sci. 1995 Mar;61:575-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1357729800014168
Ott S, Moons CPH, Kashiha MA, Bahr C, Tuyttens FAM, Berckmans D, Niewold TA. Automated video analysis of pig activity at pen level highly correlates to human observations of behavioural activities. Livest Sci. 2014 Feb 1;160:132-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2013.12.011
Preißinger W. Dietary fiber displaces no concentrated feed and makes pigs less aggressive. Proceedings of the Conference of the Society of Nutrition Physiology, March 13th to 15th, 2018. Göttingen; 2018. p. 196-200.
Schamun S, Hoy S. Untersuchungen zum Futteraufnahmeverhalten von Mastschweinen an einer elektronischen Abrufstation unter Berücksichtigung der Rangordnung [Investigations on feed intake behaviour of fattening pigs fed at an electronic feeding station taking into account the rank order]. Züchtungsk. 2011;83(6):426-38. German.
Shono M, Shono H, Ito Y, Muro M, Maeda Y, Sugimori H. A new periodogram using one-way analysis of variance for circadian rhythms. Psych Clin Neurosci. 2000 Jun;54(3):307-8. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1440-1819.2000.00690.x
Signoret JP, Baldwin BA, Fraser D, Hafez ESE. The behaviour of swine. In: Hafez ESE, editor. Behaviour of domestic animals. London: Baillière Tindall; 1975. p. 295-329.
Tolkamp BJ, Allcroft DJ, Austin EJ, Nielsen BL, Kyriazakis I. Satiety splits feeding behaviour into bouts. J Theor Biol. 1998 Sep 21;194(2:235-50. https://doi.org/10.1006/jtbi.1998.0759
Vandermeulen J, Bahr C, Tullo E, Fontana I, Ott S, Kashiha M, Guarino M, Moons CPH, Tuyttens FAM, Niewold TA, Berckmans D. Discerning pig screams in production environments. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 29;10(4):e0123111. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123111
Veissier I, Forkman B. The nature of animal welfare science. Annu Rev Biomed Sci. 2018 Dec 1;10:T15-T26. https://doi.org/10.5016/1806-8774.2008.v10pT15
Yeates MP, Tolkamp BJ, Allcroft DJ, Kyriazakis I. The use of mixed distribution models to determine bout criteria for analysis of animal behaviour. J Theor Biol. 2001 Dec 7;213(3):413-25. https://doi.org/10.1006/jtbi.2001.2425
Zentral Verband der Deutschen Schweineproduktion. Richtlinie für die Stationsprüfung auf Mastleistung, Schlachtkörperwert und Fleischbeschaffenheit beim Schwein [Guidelines for station testing of growth, carcase worth and meat quality of pigs]. 2007. German.