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Holmström, Sara, 2019. How is feed-related behaviour in growing pigs affected by total mixed ration feed with intensively treated silage?. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management



In Nordic countries, roughage e.g. silage from ley crops is mainly provided in the daily feed rations to pigs within organic production systems. Grass-clover silage brings multiple advantages in letting pigs perform natural behaviours and reduces aggressive social interactions. Although, pigs’ consumption of roughages such as silage varies and thus affect the nutrient utilization and their behaviour. The aimof this study was to examine feed-related behaviours in growing pigs fed total mixed ration (TMR) diets with inclusion of either chopped and intensively treated silage or solely chopped silage. In total 64 growing female and immuno-castrated male pigs (Yorkshire x Hampshire), thus 32 pigs from two batches (40 and 80 kg live weight), were included in the study and divided into four groups of eight pigs per pen in each stable. Two groups of pigs from each batch were fed treatment SI where the silage had been chopped and thereafter intensively treated in a bio-extruder, while two groups were fed treatment SC where the silage had been chopped with no further treatment. Pigs were observed for two days per batch by direct observations three times per day, in the morning prior to and after feeding, in the middle of the day separate from feeding, and in the afternoon prior to and after feeding. Data was collected by instantaneous (scan) and continuous sampling to estimate feed-related behaviours and social interactions. Statistical analyses were performed using Minitab 18 and pigs’ behaviour differences were analysed with ANOVA using general linear models. Pigs in treatment SI were eating from the feed trough more frequent (p < 0.01) while pigs in treatment SC spent a greater extent on rooting behaviour (p < 0.01). After feeding and separate from feeding, SC pigs were more active compared with SI pigs (p = 0.003 and p = 0.002, respectively). Weight of the pigs did not have any clear effect on feed-related behaviours or social interactions (n.s), however 80 kg pigs were more active before feeding (p = 0.05). Based on the results of this study, pigs seemed to spend longer time eating, presumably also with greater feed consumption, when fed TMR with inclusion of intensively treated silage. This feeding strategy might therefore benefit the nutrient utilization from silage and have a positive effect on pig behaviour in growing pigs.


Grovfoder så som ensilage från vallgrödor ges främst till grisar inom ekologisk produktion i nordiska länder. Att ge gräs-klöverensilage medför flera fördelar för grisar i att utföra naturliga beteenden och minskar aggressiva sociala interaktioner. Dock kan grisarnas konsumtionsgrad av grovfoder så som ensilage variera och därmed påverka deras näringsutnyttjande samt beteende. Syftet med denna studie var att undersöka foderrelaterade beteenden hos växande grisar som fick ett fullfoder med antingen hackat och intensivbearbetat ensilage eller enbart hackat ensilage. I studien ingick totalt 64 växande grisar (Yorkshire x Hampshire) från två kullar (40 eller 80 kg levande vikt) indelade i fyra grupper per stall om åtta grisar per box. Två grupper av grisar i varje stall utfodrades med behandling SI där ensilaget först hackats och sedan intensivbearbetats i en bioextruder, medan två grupper fick behandling SC där ensilaget hackats utan vidare bearbetning. Beteendeobservationer utfördes under två dagar per stall och grisarna observerades tre gånger per dag på morgonen, före och efter utfodring, mitt på dagen, inte sammanhängande med utfodring, och slutligen på eftermiddagen före och efter utfodring. De statistiska analyserna utfördes i Minitab och skillnader i grisarnas beteenden analyserades med ANOVA med hjälp av generella linjära modeller. Grisarna i behandling SI åt i större utsträckning (p < 0.01) än grisarna i behandling SC som istället bökade mer (p < 0.01). SC grisar utförde mer sociala interaktioner än SI grisar före utfodring (p = 0.029), men inga skillnader fanns mitt på dagen eller efter utfodring (p > 0.05). Efter utfodring och inte sammanhängande med utfodring, var SC grisar mer aktiva jämfört med SI grisar (p = 0.003 och 0.002, respektive). Grisarnas vikt hade ingen tydlig påverkan på ät-relaterade beteenden eller sociala interaktioner (n.s), dock var 80 kilos grisar mer aktiva före utfodring (p = 0.05). Baserat på resultaten i den här studien, spenderar grisar längre tid på att äta, troligen också med en högre konsumtionsgrad, när de fick ett fullfoder med intensivbearbetat ensilage. Denna utfodringsstrategi kan troligtvis därför verka som fördel för växande grisars näringsutnyttjande från ensilage och ha en positiv inverkan på deras beteenden.

Main title:How is feed-related behaviour in growing pigs affected by total mixed ration feed with intensively treated silage?
Authors:Holmström, Sara
Supervisor:Åkerfeldt, Magdalena and Wallenbeck, Anna
Examiner:Rydhmer, Lotta
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2019
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:VY001 Agricultural Science Programme - Animal Science 270 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Keywords:pig behaviour, grass-clover silage, total mixed ration, social interactions, nutrient utilization
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal feeding
Animal physiology - Nutrition
Animal physiology - Growth and development
Deposited On:20 Feb 2019 14:24
Metadata Last Modified:21 Feb 2019 02:00

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