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Title: Feeding behaviour of the piglet in the immediate post-weaning period
Author: Reynolds, Fiona Heather
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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This PhD researched the subject of low feeding behaviour of the newly weaned piglet in the immediate post-weaning period. The main aim of this research was to investigate techniques to better manage the vulnerable animal in the critical post-weaning period in order to improve feed initiation and intake. Leeds University Feeding Behaviour System was tested and validated for recording the feeding behaviour of piglets housed in groups. Creep feed experience did not improve feeding behaviour post-weaning. Lack of experience of solid feed was not detrimental to the piglets. Outdoor-reared. piglets showed reduced feeding initiation and behaviour compared to indoor-reared piglets when weaned into an indoor facility. questioning the welfare implications of this common management technique. Grouping of piglets, at weaning, from different backgrounds did not conclude any effects of social facilitation between the piglets. However, keeping pig1ets with their siblings led to better feeding initiation and improved growth performance. The feeding behaviour of three crossbreeds of pig was different. Hampshire and Pietrain breeds initiated feeding sooner than Large White piglets. The three-breed crosses had different feeding patterns, with Hampshire piglets recorded as the crossbreed with the highest feeding behaviour in the first week post-weaning. When provided with a choice, piglets rejected ZnO supplemented food in favour of an unsupplemented food. Even in the presence of Post-Weaning Colibacillosis there was no indication of selection to meet a requirement. In addition, there was no indication of selection to meet a lysine requirement by weaned piglets. When offered a choice between high and low lysine foods, the piglets' fed entirely at random. Random behaviour was also found from analysis of Short Term Feeding Behaviour, concluding the unsuitability of log-normal analysis for these animals. It is clear that the establishment of feeding by the piglet is a complex area, and further research is warranted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available