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 was to determine if environmental enrichment would improve the ease of handling pigs.

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 design.

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 treatment.

Providing toys or mingling reduced the pig's excitability and the force required to move an animal through a chute.

The effectiveness of the driving treatment might have been reduced because pigs were driven along the same path every week.

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