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Defecation Pattern in Cross-Bred Weaner Pigs under Different Housing System

Anup Kumar Singh Manjunath Patel Gyanendra Kumar Gaur Med Ram Verma Chandra Has Prasanta Boro Mohd Aurif Wagay Kuldeep Kumar Panigrahy
Vol 7(7), 109-117
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20170524112950

To study the defecation pattern, 24 crossbred (Landrace x Desi) weaned pigs were distributed randomly into the two groups. Group I: Pigs kept in pens with covered area but no open area (Intensive housing) while Group II: In pens having both covered and open area (Semi-Intensive). The defecation pattern was observed 24 hrs consecutively for five days. The defecation pattern in both groups differed significantly (P<0.01) day × location wise. In Group I: highest defecation was observed near drinker (a) and lowest defecation was observed near feeder (f). In Group II: highest number of defecation was observed near the middle gate location (c) and least number of defecation was observed in empty dry-4 location (f) of the open paddock. Total number of defecation by Group I and Group II weaner were 474 & 435 in 5 days observation, respectively. Each weaner defecated once in 3 hours in intensive housing and once in 3.2 hours in semi intensive housing. It can be concluded that in both systems, pigs maintained some of the locations for defecation purpose and avoided near feeder and lying area.


Keywords : Crossbred Defecation Intensive Semi Intensive

Introduction

Pigs have natural tendency to use separate locations for elimination and lying (Fraser and Broom, 1997; Damm and Pedersen, 2000; Olsen et al., 2001; Hal, 2015). However, pigs do not always show this desired behaviour, leading to displaced eliminations on the solid floor (Hacker et al., 1994). Soiling of the pen also influences the quality and quantity of work for the farmer (Aarnink et al., 2006). The amount of work and the labour costs increase when the eliminations are dispersed throughout the pen (Randall et al., 1983). Therefore, farmers are shifting pig rearing from semi intensive system to intensive system where no open space is provided. This system not only save the money but also labour. On the other hand Kaswan et al., 2013, concluded that defecation pattern is affected when no open space provided along with floor allowance is reduced. Therefore, present study has been carried out to study the defecation pattern in cross-bred pigs under intensive and semi intensive system of housing so that cleanliness of floor can be maintained.

Materials and Methods

The experiment was conducted at Swine Production Farm, Livestock Production and Management Section, IVRI, Izatnagar, Utter Pradesh, India, November, 2016. A total of 24 crossbred (Landrace x Desi) weaned pigs from a main flock contemporarily born piglets weaned from similar litter groups were used. All experimental weaners were marked with silver nitrate solution for easy identification. These weaners were maintained under standard managemental practices. Animals were weaned at 6 week and subsequently distributed randomly into the two groups having 12 weaners each. Group I: All 12 animals were further divided into 3 units having 4 each. Each unit was kept in pens having covered area but no open area. Space and construction of shed provided as per the norms and minimum requirement as per the BIS specifications. The length and width of each pen was 4.72 m and 3.37 m respectively so total area of each pen was 15.9 m2 in intensive housing. In order to observe the defecation pattern the floor of each pen was demarcated into 6 locations for convenience and designated as a, b, c, d, e and f (2.65 m2) for studying defecation pattern (Fig. 1). Feeder and drinker had the same volume of 0.051 m3 in intensive housing pen.

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Similarly in Group II: Each unit was kept in pens having both covered and open area. The defecation pattern/trend was observed 24 hrs at every 1 hour interval consecutively for 5 days. In semi intensive housing the covered and open area were equal (10 m2) with length and width of 3.45 m and 2.9 m, respectively. So the total area under semi intensive pen was 20 m2. However, in semi intensive system of housing only open space was demarcated into 6 locations for convenience and designated as a, b, c, d, e and f (1.67 m2) as pigs utilizes open area for defecation (Fig. 2). Feeder and drinker were same volume of 0.114 m3 in semi-intensive housing pen.

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Experimental animals were offered concentrate mixture ad libitum twice daily. Concentrate mixture offered was made up of crushed maize (35%), deoiled soyabean meal (10%), wheat bran (47%), fish meal (6%), mineral mixture (1.5%) and common salt (0.5%). The supply of clean, fresh and potable drinking water was ensured throughout day and night. All the pens in same shed were assumed to have the same temperature during the period under consideration. Mean temperatures (°C) observed at intensive and semi intensive housed pens at 10 am and 5 pm were 25.4±0.5, 29.2 ±0.3, 23.7±0.2, 27.4±0.2 respectively. Mean values were calculated based on experimental data obtained during the experimental period and further, data was subjected to the statistical analysis as per the procedures described by (Snedecor and Cochran, 1994) by using the SAS 9.2 software package. To test the association of the attributes chi Square goodness of fit test was used.

Results and Discussion

Defecation Pattern in Weaners under Intensive System

In intensive system defecation pattern was not same for different locations for different days. The Chi Square value was 38.29 which were significant at 1% level of significance. This shows that there was association between location and days for the defecation pattern. The data shows that defecation in (days X location) differ significantly (P<0.01) (Table 1). Highest defecation was observed in location near drinker (a) and empty dry location-1 (b).

Table 1: Defecation pattern of weaner under intensive system (Days X Locations)

Days Drinker area/drain(a) Empty dry 1(b) Empty dry 2(c) Empty dry 3 (d) Gate (e) Feeder (f) Total Chi-sqaure value
1 32 29 21 7 10 0 99 38.29*
2 34 30 14 17 1 6 102
3 32 29 18 13 0 0 92
4 28 25 19 11 4 5 92
5 19 27 21 13 3 6 89
Total 145 140 93 61 18 17 474

* Significant (P<0.01)

This is in agreement with Banhazi et al., 2002; Simonsen (1990) who also stated that animal choose cold, moist location for elimination and warmer, clean location for lying. Environmental temperature (Aarnink et al., 2006) also influence eliminative behavior as pig seek to rest in higher temperature location and eliminate in low temperature location. Environmental temperature perception is based on inflection temperature (IT) which decreased with increasing body weight (25°C at 25 kg to 20°C at 100 kg). Temperatures above the IT are perceived as warm and below it as cold. Since, drinker location (a) was constantly wet by spilled drinking water which may cause marginal cooling of that locations encouraged the weaner to defecate most. Randall et al., 1983, found that 36% of pens was soiled in the lying area when it was marginally cooler than the elimination area, however only 2% case soiled when the lying area was warmer by 6°C. Baxter (1982) found that pigs preferred to eliminate in the location wetted by spilled drinking water. Lowest defecation was observed in location near feeder (f) and exit gate (e) which is in agreement with Simonsen (1990) who also stated that pigs prefer to keep their feeding location clean from eliminations. Andersen et al., 2011, found that during eliminations pigs keep their head far away from their feeding and lying location, but they seem to be unaware of where their hind is. So this may be the reason why some of the defecation occurred near the feeding location.

In intensive system defecation pattern was not same for different locations for different pens. The Chi Square value was 154.86 which was significant (P<0.001). This shows that there was association between locations and pens for the defecation pattern (Table 2). It seems once animal choose their defecation location which is least comfortable for resting or lying and feeding, animal keep on defecating in same location.

Table 2: Defecation pattern of weaner under intensive system (Pens X Locations)

Pens Drinker area/drain (a) Empty dry 1(b) Empty dry 2 (c) Empty dry 3(d) Gate (e) Feeder (f) Total Chi-sqaure value
1 59 53 39 3 4 0 158 154.86**
2 48 39 7 54 7 0 155
3 38 48 47 4 7 17 161
Total 145 140 93 61 18 17 474

** Significant (P<0.001)

Whatson (1985) also stated that pigs do not use a specific elimination site but use the location that is least comfortable for other activities. When pigs are placed in a new pen, they first select a site for lying (Ekkel et al., 2003), because eighty percent of their time is spent in lying hence lying in comfort is important while choosing of elimination area is considered later.

Defecation Pattern in Weaners under Semi-Intensive System

In semi intensive system defecation pattern was not same for different locations for different days. The Chi Square value (42.39) showed significant difference (P<0.01). This shows that there was association between locations and days for the defecation pattern (Table 3).

Table 3: Defecation pattern of weaner under semi-intensive system (Days X Locations)

Days Corner Empty dry-1 (a) Empty dry-2 (b) Middle gate (c) Empty dry-3 (d) Exit gate (e) Empty dry-4 (f) Total Chi-square value
1 21 12 30 12 19 1 95 42.39*
2 10 5 31 12 26 2 86
3 21 0 34 9 22 1 87
4 12 6 20 14 20 10 82
5 16 8 22 10 21 8 85
Total 80 31 137 57 108 22 435

* Significant (P<0.01)

Similarly defecation pattern was not same for different locations for different pens. This shows that there was association (P<0.001) between locations and pens for the defecation pattern (Table 4). In semi intensive system of housing all animal defecated in the outside pen. During throughout the experiment no pigs defecated inside the covered area. The weaned piglets before weaning were born in same farrowing shed where sow and littermate indirectly influence (Whatson, 1985) the defecation behavior however when these weaner kept in intensive pen there was no choice to go outside for defecation. Therefore, results clearly indicate that when animal is given an opportunity to eliminate in open and closed area, they chose the open area for defecation and closed area for feeding and resting. Olsen et al., 2001, found that most of the defecation done outside pen when open run is provided in pen. Pigs prefer the low illuminated areas to rest in and the high illuminated areas to defecate in. Light illumination is factor (Taylor et al., 2006) which also affects the elimination behavior. Since in contrast to light, inside pen was dark and outside pen was brighter which may justify the above reason.

Table 4: Defecation pattern of weaner under semi-intensive system (Pens X Locations)

Days Corner Empty dry-1 (a) Empty dry-2 (b) Middle gate (c) Empty dry-3 (d) Exit gate (e) Empty dry-4 (f) Total Chi-square value
1 21 12 30 12 19 1 95 42.39*
2 10 5 31 12 26 2 86
3 21 0 34 9 22 1 87
4 12 6 20 14 20 10 82
5 16 8 22 10 21 8 85
Total 80 31 137 57 108 22 435

* Significant (P<0.001)

Highest number of defecation has been done in the middle gate location (c) and exit gate location (e) which could be due to territory marking behaviour. It seems that animal wanted to give information about his presence regarding its own location but they got separated by middle gate partition so only option was by eliminating on edge of gate. Pheromones present in the urine or faeces of an animal may provide the receiver information on the identity of the depositor without having direct contact (Eisenberg, 1972). Our studies show that defecation near gate, may be because of the fact that territory marking is predominant in pig (Eisenberg and Kleiman, 1972) in which animal can see to other animal through gate. McGlone and Anderson (2002) found that their olfactory system is known to be well developed.

However, least number of defecation was found in corner empty dry-2 (b) and empty dry-4 (f) of the open paddock. Pig prefers to eliminate in the corner of the pen (Baxter, 1982). It was observed that water spilled out from drinker was spreading to empty dry-2 (b), empty dry-3 (d) and empty dry-4 (f) locations may encourage the weaner to defecate. This may be the reason that some of the defecation occurred in these locations. Baxter (1982) found that pigs preferred to eliminate in the location wetted by spilled drinking water.

Comparative Defecation Pattern in Intensive and Semi Intensive Housing

Comparative defecation pattern have been shown in Fig. 3. In intensive housing system, total 80% (Fig. 3.1) of defecations done including drinker (a), empty dry location-1 (b) and empty dry location-2 (c) or we can say opposite of entry/exit gate & parallel to wall. However, in semi intensive housing total 88 % (Fig. 3.2) of defecation done including corner dry-1 (a), empty dry location-3 (d), middle gate (c) and exit gate (e) locations of the open paddock.

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