Feed Intake Pattern of Group-Housed Growing-Finishing Pigs Monitored Using a Computerized Feed Intake Recording System

Y. Hyun, M. Ellis, F. K. McKeith, E. R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The feed intake pattern and growth performance of boars, barrows, and gilts fed diets differing in lysine and protein content were measured on 120 crossbred pigs from 27 (SD 3.7) to 81.5 (SD 9.2) kg live weight. The pigs were housed in eight mixed-sex groups with five pigs of each sex in each group. They were fed from an electronic feed station that recorded individual meal sizes and the time and duration of visits to the feeder for each animal in the group. Four dietary treatments were compared. During the grower period (27 to 55 kg), diets ranged in lysine content from .98 to 1.31%; for the remainder of the study, lysine content was .88 to 1.18%. Barrows had a greater (P < .01) number of meals per day than the other two sexes (7.4 vs 7.0 vs 7.0 ± .10, respectively), but there were no significant differences among sexes for daily feed intake or other feed intake traits. Daily feed intake increased with dietary lysine content, largely because of increased meal sizes resulting from longer feeder occupation times at each visit. Visits to the feeder were greatest between 0900 and 1100 and lowest between 2000 and 0400. Correlations between feeding pattern and growth traits were relatively low. Repeatabilities of feeding pattern traits were generally higher when measured over shorter time periods. These results suggest a change in feeding behavior with increasing dietary lysine levels and a relatively small effect of sex on feeding pattern for mixed-sex groups of 15 pigs fed from a single electronic feed station.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1451
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume75
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1997

Keywords

  • Feed Intake
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Growth
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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