Effect of drinker type on water disappearance of nursery pigs

Katherine D. Vande Pol, Nicholas S. Grohmann, Thomas E. Weber, Matthew J. Ritter, Michael Ellis

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This study was conducted to evaluate the water disappearance of nursery pigs (from weaning to 6 wk post-weaning; 6.4 ± 1.07 to 22.0 ± 3.39 kg live body weight) using a randomized complete block design to compare two Drinker Type treatments: Nipple vs. Cup. A total of 336 pigs housed in 16 pens with 21 pigs per pen in 2 rooms (8 pens per room) were used. Pens had fully-slatted concrete floors; floor space was 0.32 m2/pig and there was one feeder and one drinker per pen. Pigs were fed corn-soybean-based diets formulated to meet or exceed nutrient requirements. Pigs and feeders were weighed at the start and end of the study. Water disappearance was measured using a water-flow meter fitted to the water pipeline supplying the drinker in each pen. For the overall study period, Drinker Type did not affect (P > 0.05) growth performance; however, average daily water disappearance was greater (P < 0.05) for Nipple than Cup drinkers (2.74 and 2.25 liters/d, respectively; SEM = 0.139). Water to feed disappearance ratio was greater (P < 0.05) for the Nipple than the Cup treatment (5.23 vs. 4.22 liters:kg, respectively; SEM = 0.263). These results suggest that water disappearance from nipple drinkers was greater than for cup drinkers. The lack of an effect of Drinker Type treatment on pig growth performance suggests that the treatment difference for water disappearance was most likely due to greater water wastage for the nipple drinkers rather than any effect on water intake per se.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbertxac014
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Drinker Type
  • Growth performance
  • Nursery
  • Pig
  • Water disappearance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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