Document Detail

Effect of drinker type on water intake and waste in newly weaned piglets.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18272851     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
During the first few days after weaning, pigs often experience BW loss as they adapt to eating solid food. During this time period, they are also known to drink excessively and develop abnormal oral behavior such as belly nosing. The excessive drinking may stem from the piglets' attempt to satiate hunger through gut fill from a familiar ingestive source. Gut fill through water intake may affect the establishment of feeding behavior. Using drinker devices other than the standard nipple drinker may ease the piglets' transition at weaning by facilitating the initiation of feeding and preventing the development of behavioral problems such as excessive drinking and belly nosing. In this experiment, we examined the effect of drinker type on water and food intake, growth rates, and belly nosing in newly weaned piglets. Eighteen pens of 15 piglets each (270 piglets total) were weaned at 18.1 +/- 0.1 d of age and housed in pens containing 1 of 3 drinker devices (standard nipple, push-lever bowl, and float bowl). Piglets' water and feed intake, water use, BW, and behavior were examined on a pen basis through 2 wk after weaning. Piglets with nipple drinkers wasted more water than the other piglets (P < 0.001; float, 295 +/- 70 mL x pig(-1) . d(-1); nipple, 1,114 +/- 63 mL x pig(-1) . d(-1); and push-lever, 186 +/- 63 mL x pig(-1) . d(-1)), whereas piglets with float bowls consumed less water than the other piglets (P < 0.001; float, 475 +/- 81 mL . pig(-1) x d(-1); nipple, 870 +/- 76 mL x pig(-1) . d(-1); push-lever, 774 +/- 76 mL x pig(-1) . d(-1)). Drinker type affected feeding behavior (P = 0.02); piglets with push-lever bowls spent less time at the feeder than the other piglets, although no difference was detected for feed intake (P = 0.64) or overall ADG (P = 0.16). Piglets with push-lever bowls also tended to perform less piglet-directed nosing behavior than piglets with the float bowl (P = 0.04). Piglets appear to use more water during the first 2 d after weaning with certain drinker devices. However, piglets do not appear to attain satiety through water consumption because most of the water used during the first few days after weaning is wasted. This excessive drinking and water wastage can be abated through the use of push-lever drinkers without negative implications for feed intake or growth rates.
S Torrey; E L M Toth Tamminga; T M Widowski
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-02-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  86     ISSN:  1525-3163     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-05-21     Completed Date:  2008-09-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1439-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1M 1Z3, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Husbandry / instrumentation*,  methods
Animals, Newborn
Behavior, Animal / physiology
Drinking Behavior / physiology*
Energy Intake / physiology
Feeding Behavior / physiology*
Random Allocation
Sucking Behavior / physiology
Swine / growth & development,  physiology*
Weight Gain

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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