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Effects of feeding systems on social and feeding behavior and performance of finishing pigs

Effects of feeding systems on social and feeding behavior and performance of finishing pigs

Journal of Animal Science 65(2): 463-474

ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812

PMID: 3624096

DOI: 10.2527/jas1987.652463x

Two experiments were conducted to study the effects of feeding systems on feeding behavior, aggression, social ranks and average daily gain (ADG) of pigs. In Exp. 1, feed was delivered during the day from 1100 to 1400 and at night from 2300 to 0200. One pen containing 10 barrows and 10 gilts was used. Correlation coefficients were calculated between pairs of traits. In Exp. 2, four feeding systems were tested using similar group composition as in Exp. 1. Two feeding systems were ad libitum, offering either dry or wet feed; the other two used time-restricted feeding from 0900 to 1100 and from 1600 to 1800, but with water supplied either ad libitum or time-restricted. Analyses of variance were used to test feeding system effects; correlation coefficients were calculated for pairs of traits. Results of Exp. 1 indicated that pigs displayed predominantly daytime activities. Frequency of aggressive acts were correlated significantly with feeding frequency (r = .48), time to first feeding (r = -.50) and ADG (r = .56). In Exp. 2, pigs on time-restricted feeding with ad libitum water had significantly depressed ADG and reduced feed intake. A possible association between time-restricted feeding and water intake is postulated. Feeding behavior, aggression and social rank were associated with ADG in time-restricted systems but not in ad libitum systems. There was a tendency in time-restricted-fed pigs for the more aggressive pigs to perform more feeding activities, to rank higher in the social order, and to gain faster.

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Accession: 001580826

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