Behavior and performance of weanling pigs in pens equipped with hide areas.

J. J. McGlone, S. E. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two-hundred eighty crossbred pigs were used to determine the efficacy of hide areas (hides) in reducing young pigs' aggressive activity during social stress and the effect of access to hides on young pigs' productive performance. In Exp. 1, 80 pigs were kept in littermate groups of five/pen in 16 home pens. Then one pig was randomly selected from each of four pens, and the four were regrouped in either a control pen or a pen equipped with three hides (each a 20 X 23 X 25 cm box) in one of the walls. Behavior was time-lapse video-recorded for 90 min. Time spent either eating (head-in-feeder) or lying was not affected by access to hides. Pigs with hides to use in escaping attack fought less during the initial 30 min after regrouping. They spent an average of 5.5% of the time with heads hidden during the entire 90-min observation period. Experiment 2 employed 200 pigs in a performance study designed to evaluate effects of regrouping and access to hides on body weight gain and feed conversion efficiency. There were 10 replicates of each of four treatments: (a) regrouped-control pen, (b) regrouped-hide pen, (c) littermates-control pen and (d) littermates-hide pen. During the first 7 d of the 21-d trial, treatments tended to interact in affecting both average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency; littermates in control pens had the highest performance, those regrouped in hide pens were intermediate and those in regrouped-control pen and littermates-hide pen treatment groups had the poorest performance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1985

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