Behavior, Displacement and Pregnancy Loss in Pigs under an Electronic Sow Feeder

  •  Ryosuke Iida    
  •  Carlos Piñeiro    
  •  Yuzo Koketsu    


Our objective was to characterize eating behavior associated with displacement hazard and subsequent performance for pigs were fed in static groups by an electronic sow feeder (ESF). Data included weekly eating records and subsequent farrowing records of 685 pigs. The eating behavior comprised weekly averages of daily feed dispensed (ADFD) and daily total time spent in the feeding stations (TTSF). A displacement female was defined as a pig removed from her group for health reasons. A multivariate model and piecewise exponential models were fitted to the records. Means (inter-quartile ranges) of ADFD and TTSF were 2.4 kg (2.1-2.8 kg) and 9.3 min (7.5-10.8 min), respectively. Gilts had less ADFD than sows during gestational weeks 5-13 (P < 0.05), but there was no difference in TTSF between gilts and sows in gestational weeks 5-8 and 11-13 (P > 0.05). Also, gilts had higher displacement hazard than parity 2 or higher sows in gestational weeks 8-10 (P < 0.05). Pigs that were entered into the ESF system during summer had less ADFD, and shorter TTSF from gestational weeks 5 to 12 than those entered during the other seasons (P < 0.05). The TTSF varied between two genotypes during gestational weeks 5-7 (P < 0.05). Also, a higher displacement hazard was associated with less ADFD (P < 0.01). A higher hazard of pregnancy loss was associated with shorter TTSF (P < 0.01). In conclusion, we recommend that both ADFD and TTSF should be measured in ESF systems to help identity females having problems.

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