Richness of pig's environment affects handling in chute.
Journal of Animal Science, volume 63 Supplement 1 (1986) page 161
T.Grandin, I.A.Taylor, S.E.Curtis and T.R.Carr, University of
Illinois, Urbanan. U.S.A.
The purpose of this experiment
determine if environmental enrichment would improve the ease of handling
Sixty-four 42.5-kg Landrace sired pigs were used in a 60 day experiment.
Four were assigned to each pen in 2 replicates of a 2x2x2 factorial
- Pigs were held in plain pens with minimal presence of humans for 28
- Treatments were imposed the last 31 days:
- Toy (T) - three 60cm long, 2.5cm diameter rubber hoses hung 25cm
above the floor continuously.
- Mingle (M) - quiet petting in pen for 10 minutes per week.
- Driving (D) - 50m in the same direction around corridors once a
- Pigs were kept in a closed house with 24 hour fluorescent lighting.
- The pens measured 1.35m x 2.25m and had partially slotted flooring with
- The pigs had ad-libitum access to standard growing diet and
At the end of the trial, each pig was tested in a 4.9m long x 43cm wide x
67.5cm high plywood chute with bars over the top. Each pig was given two
minutes to enter and walk through the chute voluntarily to a scale
platform at the other end. The chute was lighted by a 15 Watt lamp over
the scale and a 60 Watt lamp over the crowd pen. Pigs refusing to enter
voluntarily were prodded for 15 seconds with a plastic pipe, then as needed
with a battery powered electric prod.
The time it took the pigs enter, the number of pigs entering
voluntarily and the number of stops in the chute were not affected by
Providing toys or mingling reduced the
excitability and the force required to move an animal through a chute.
The groups of pigs that received toys, mingling, and both toys and
mingling treatments did less backing up in the chute.
- 4% of pigs
with treatments backed up -vs- 38% of the control group pigs.
( p < .05 )
- The groups that received toys, mingling, and both toys and
also required less electrical prodding.
- 4% of pigs
with treatments needed electrical prodding -vs- 25% of the control group
pigs. ( p < .075 )
- Pigs that received two or three treatments were rated calmer than
control group (1.37 +/- .44) and
pigs that received only one treatment
( p< .02)
- Pigs were rated by two observers blind to
on a scale of 1 - 4.
1=calm and 4=highly excitable.
The effectiveness of the driving treatment
been reduced because pigs were driven along the same path every week.
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