Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2634



Summary and Implications

Sows are often selected by their body size and gestation groups are formed from this initial selection. However, size of sow and rate of feeding speed have not been determined, and instead of body size as the selection criteria, would rate of feeding be a better determinant for sows being grouped? Therefore, the objective of this study was to (1) estimate the range of speeds that a sow consumes a pre determined ration, (2) determine how sow parity affects the rate of feeding and (3) ascertain if feeding rate differs when feed is presented on the floor versus a raised ledge. To avoid aggression, 11 clinically normal, mixed-parity, crossbred sows were purchased from a commercial producer in Iowa and housed in individual pens at Iowa State University. Sows were all feed by hand and the ration was formulated to meet the NRC (1998) requirements for that sow at her stage of production. Data was collected on the afternoon feeding (1600 h) and each sow received 0.90 kg (2 lb). Treatment One; Floor; defined as food being placed centrally 1 m in distance on the rubber mat from the back of the home pen. Treatment Two; Ledge; the ledge was defined as a raised concrete step. Scoring of feeding rate was conducted by live observation (one person to one sow). Data were analyzed using the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS and a repeated measure statement of date nested within sow was used. A P < 0.05 was considered significant and PDIFF was used to separate the means. The feeding rate (sec) range for sows within parity will be presented descriptively. No differences were found for parity (P = 0.59) of sow, although parity one sows ate quicker (14 mins) compared to parities two (20 mins) and three (19 mins). There was a difference (P = 0.02) for rate of feeding when sows were presented with feed on the floor of their home pen or on the raised feeder. In conclusion there was no difference between rates of feeding by parity when sows were housed individually in a home pen. However, when feed was presented on the floor the sows ate more quickly compared to a raised ledge.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University