Number of visits and length of each visit to a nipple cup drinker by 7-week-old pigs after a water deprivation period or ad libitum access to water
Objective: To determine how quickly all pigs visited the nipple cup drinker, the number and duration of visits, and water disappearance when water was restored after a 15-hour withholding period.
Materials and methods: A total of 184 seven-week-old pigs, identified with unique numbers, were commercially housed (23 pigs per pen), with one stainless steel nipple cup drinker per pen. Two treatments were compared in a crossover design: withheld (WH; four pens), pigs did not have access to water for 15 hours, and control (C; four pens), pigs had ad libitum access to water. One camera was positioned over each drinker to record visits lasting ≥ 5 seconds between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm on 2 consecutive days. One meter was installed on each water line to record water disappearance.
Results: All pigs from both treatments visited the nipple cup drinker during the 6-hour observation period. Control pigs made fewer total visits and spent less time at the nipple cup drinker than WH pigs (P < .05). The WH pigs spent longer at the water nipple and visited more often than the C pigs only for the first hour after water was restored (P < .05). Water disappearance was greater for the WH pigs (P < .05).
Implications: Under the conditions of this study, all pigs were able to visit the nipple cup drinker between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm; thus, withholding water for 15 hours to encourage consumption of medicated water is not recommended.
This is an article from Jackson, Ciara J., Locke A. Karriker, Kenneth J. Stalder, and Anna K. Johnson. "Number of visits and length of each visit to a nipple cup drinker by 7-week-old pigs after a water deprivation period or ad libitum access to water." Journal of Swine Health and Production 17, no. 2 (2009): 76-80. Posted with permission.