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Growth Performance and Behaviour in Grouped Pigs Fed Fibrous Diet

  • Bakare, A.G. (Animal and Poultry Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal) ;
  • Madzimure, J. (Chinhoyi University of Technology, Department of Animal Production and Technology) ;
  • Ndou, S.P. (Animal and Poultry Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal) ;
  • Chimonyo, M. (Animal and Poultry Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Received : 2013.12.02
  • Accepted : 2014.02.25
  • Published : 2014.08.01

Abstract

The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of feeding fibrous diets on growth performance and occurrence of aggressive behaviours in growing pigs. Sixty healthy castrated pigs (initial body weight: $46.7{\pm}4.35$ kg) were used. A basal diet was diluted with maize cobs to two levels (0 and 160 g/kg dry matter). Behavioural activities were observed using video cameras for three weeks, 8 h/d starting at 0800 h. Pigs subjected to control diet gained more weight compared to pigs receiving fibrous diet in week 1 (0.47 vs 0.15 kg, respectively) and 2 (1.37 vs 1.04, respectively) (p<0.05). Average daily gain was not affected by treatment diet in the third week. Pigs on high fibrous spent more time eating, lying down, standing, walking and fighting (p<0.05) compared to pigs on control diet. Time spent eating increased as the weeks progressed whilst time spent lying down decreased. Time of day had an effect on time spent on different behavioural activities exhibited by all pigs on different treatment diet (p<0.05). Inactivity was greatest in 5th (1200 to 1300 h) hour of the day for all the pigs on different dietary treatments. Skin lesions appeared the most on neck and shoulder region followed by chest, stomach and hind leg region, and finally head region (p<0.05). Pigs on high fibre diet had more skin lesions in all body regions compared to pigs on control diet (p<0.05). It can be concluded that the high fibrous diet with maize cobs did not affect growth performance and also did not reduce aggressive behaviours. Aggressive behaviours emanated out of frustration when queuing on the feeder. The findings of this study suggest that maize cobs can be included at a level of 160 g/kg in diets of pigs. However, to reduce the level of aggression more feeding space should be provided.

Keywords

Aggressive Behaviour;Fibrous Diet;Pigs;Skin Lesions

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