Prairie Swine Centre

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): K.A.M. MacDonald and H.W. Gonyou
Publication Date: January 1, 2000
Reference: Prairie Swine Centre Annual Report 2000 pp. 25-26
Country: Canada


Past research suggests that the once standard 5 pigs/feeder space underestimates the actual carrying capacity of most modern feeder designs. Feeding behavior can be influenced by several factors such as competition, feed type, feed presentation and pig size. This study examined the effect of feed type and presentation on the eating behavior of grower finisher pigs in attempt to determine if these effects would translate into higher stocking densities of the feeder. Four treatments were used for the duration of the two experiments, dry mash (DM), wet/dry mash (WD), dry pellets (DP) and wet/dry pellets (WP) all fed from single space feeders. Pens were video taped to determine total duration of eating. Data from the first experiment was then used for the second experiment during the finisher phase. Results showed that pigs fed the DM diet spent significantly more time at the feeder than those fed WM, DP or WP. ADG was found to be lower as compared to WM or WP diets, and pigs fed the DP diets had intermediate gains. As stocking density increased, the time spent eating/pig decreased in both the grower and finisher phases, regardless of feed type or presentation. It was concluded that feed type and presentation have major effects on swine eating behavior and can influence productivity. Pigs fed a dry diet tend to spend more time eating, however this effect can be counteracted by the addition of water, such as in a wet/dry feeding system. The same does not apply to wet/dry versus dry pellets, which could be due to factors such as palatability or simple mechanics. Maximum number of pigs that could be fed from a single feeder space without significant decrease in ADG and ADFI varied among the type of feed and presentation, as well as the stage of growth.

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