Animal Science, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
Journal or Book Title
Journal of Swine Health and Production
Objective: Determine the effect of drinker number (1, 2, or 3 drinkers/pen) on the frequency and duration for drinker visits, aggressive interactions in the drinker vicinity, drinker location preference, and water disappearance for 7-week-old nursery pigs.
Materials and methods: Two hundred twenty-five, 7-week-old gilts identified with unique numbers were commercially housed (25 gilts/pen). Three treatments were compared with 3 pens/treatment: 1 drinker (treatment 1), 2 drinkers (treatment 2), and 3 drinkers (treatment 3). One camera was positioned over each drinker to record behavior between 7:00 am and 12:59 pm over 2 consecutive days. In addition, 1 water meter was installed on each water line to record water disappearance.
Results: Pigs in treatment 3 visited and spent more time at the drinkers compared to the other 2 treatments (P = .02). Pigs in treatment 1 had more and longer duration of aggressive interactions in the drinker vicinity compared to the other 2 treatments between 7:00 am to 7:59 am (P = .02). When offered 3 drinkers, pigs spent the least amount of time at the drinker across from the feeder near the alleyway (P < .001). Total water disappearance was greatest for treatment 1 and least for treatment 2.
Implications: Under study conditions, 3 drinkers increased visits and time at drinkers without increasing aggressive interactions. Pigs exhibited location preference when offered 3 drinkers. Results can inform producers on water placement in pens.
American Association of Swine Veterinarians
Jackson, Ciara J.; Johnson, Anna K.; Stalder, Kenneth J.; Edler, Roy A.; Holck, J. Tyler; DuBois, Paul R.; Karriker, Locke A.; Sadler, Larry J.; and Stambuk, Cassandra R., "Drinker to nursery pig ratio: Drinking behavior, aggression, and drinker location preference over 2 days" (2021). Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine Publications. 204.