More Nipple Cup Drinkers to Fewer Pigs on the Day of Weaning Into a Conventional Nursery Results in Reduced Aggression and More Visits to the Drinker

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DuBois, P. R.
Edler, R. A.
Holck, J. T.
Jackson, C. J.
Stalder, Kenneth
Johnson, Anna
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Karriker, Locke
Morrill Professor
Johnson, Anna
Professor Animal Behavior and Welfare
Stalder, Kenneth
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Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science originally concerned itself with teaching the selection, breeding, feeding and care of livestock. Today it continues this study of the symbiotic relationship between animals and humans, with practical focuses on agribusiness, science, and animal management.

The Department of Animal Husbandry was established in 1898. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Animal Science in 1962. The Department of Poultry Science was merged into the department in 1971.

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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
The mission of VDPAM is to educate current and future food animal veterinarians, population medicine scientists and stakeholders by increasing our understanding of issues that impact the health, productivity and well-being of food and fiber producing animals; developing innovative solutions for animal health and food safety; and providing the highest quality, most comprehensive clinical practice and diagnostic services. Our department is made up of highly trained specialists who span a wide range of veterinary disciplines and species interests. We have faculty of all ranks with expertise in diagnostics, medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and production medicine. Most have earned certification from specialty boards. Dozens of additional scientists and laboratory technicians support the research and service components of our department.
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Animal ScienceVeterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine

More nipple cup drinkers to fewer pigs on the day of weaning into a conventional nursery results in reduced aggression and more visits to the drinker. Background: Piglets develop their drinking behaviour over the first few days after weaning. Enhancing drinking opportunities for nursery pigs can affect growth, health, welfare, and overall profit. The objectives of this study were to determine how 1, 2, or 3 drinkers per pen affected drinker visit numbers, length of visits at the drinker, and aggressive interactions in the drinker vicinity on placement day for nursery pigs. Methods and Findings: One-hundred and fifty crossbred gilts (21 ± 4 days of age at weaning) weighing 5.38 ± 2.65 Kg were enrolled and assigned to pens by body weight with 25 pigs per pen. Six pens were used with 2 pens per treatment. Each pen contained 1, 2, or 3 stainless steel nipple cup drinkers. Four measures were collected: number and length of visits to the drinker which started each time the individual nursery pig’s head was in the drinker and terminated when the pig’s head moved out of the drinker for a period lasting 5 s or more and number and length of aggressive interactions in the drinker vicinity defined as any fight, bully, head-knock, or chase which occurred in a radius of 0.61 m or less from the edge of the drinker. Total number and length of visits to the nipple cup drinker were greatest for treatment 2 (2 drinkers per pen; 1,894 ± 289 visits and 21,413 ± 6,236 s) and lowest for treatment 1 (1 drinker per pen; 1,129 ± 88 visits and 13,277 ± 1,117). Pigs in treatment pens given 3 drinkers had the lowest total number (676 ± 269 interactions) and the shortest length (4,614 ± 1,912) of aggressive interactions in the vicinity of the drinkers. Conclusion: Offering multiple drinkers provided more frequent and longer water access along with decreased aggression near the water source which could improve nursery pig welfare on placement day.


This article is published as Stambuk CR, Sadler L, DuBois PR, Edler RA, Holck JT, et al. (2020) More Nipple Cup Drinkers to Fewer Pigs on the Day of Weaning Into a Conventional Nursery Results in Reduced Aggression and More Visits to the Drinker. J Anim Sci Livest Prod Vol.4 No.2:3. DOI: 10.36648/2577-0594.4.2.3.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2020