Drinking Behavior of Seven Week Old Pigs when Water is Either
Withheld or Provided Ad Libitum
Detailed information on the pigs’ temporal drinking patterns is essential when delivering water based health products because there is a risk that not all pigs will visit the drinker adequately and hence, may not receive sufficient vaccine or medication required to protect the animal. The objectives of this study were to determine the percentage of pigs that drank within a 6 hour time period and the number and length of drinking visits on an hourly basis for seven week old pigs when water was either withheld or not withheld for 15 hours over two consecutive days.
All pigs in the pens took at least one 5 second or longer visit to the drinker over both days (Table 1). Number of drinking visits to the nipple cup drinker per hour differed (P = 0.0001) for the first hour (0700) after water was made available between WH and CONT treatments respectively (Table 2). For all other hours there were no (P > 0.05) differences. Total length of time spent at the nipple cup drinker differed (P = 0.0001) at 0700 with WH spending longer than their CONT counterparts. For all other time periods there were no (P > 0.05) differences (Table 3). In conclusion, withholding water over the 15 hour period to make sure all pigs receive sufficient vaccine is not needed.