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Loading and Unloading Finishing Pigs: Effects of Bedding Types, Ramp Angle, and Bedding Moisture.

Garcia A, McGlone JJ - Animals (Basel) (2014)

Bottom Line: Three ramp angles (0, 10 or 20 degrees), five bedding materials (nothing, sand, feed, wood shavings or wheat straw hay), two moistures (dry or wet bedding, >50% moisture) over two seasons (>23.9 °C summer, <23.9 °C winter) were assessed for slips/falls/vocalizations (n = 2400 pig observations) and analyzed with a scoring system.The use of bedding during summer or winter played a role in the total time it took to load and unload the ramp (p < 0.05).The current study suggests that several factors should be considered in combination to identify the appropriate bedding for the specific occasion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA. arlene.garcia@ttu.edu.

ABSTRACT
The use of non-slip surfaces during loading and unloading of finishing pigs plays an important role in animal welfare and economics of the pork industry. Currently, the guidelines available only suggest the use of ramps with a slope below 20 degrees to load and unload pigs. However, the total time it takes to load and unload animals and slips, falls, and vocalizations are a welfare concern. Three ramp angles (0, 10 or 20 degrees), five bedding materials (nothing, sand, feed, wood shavings or wheat straw hay), two moistures (dry or wet bedding, >50% moisture) over two seasons (>23.9 °C summer, <23.9 °C winter) were assessed for slips/falls/vocalizations (n = 2400 pig observations) and analyzed with a scoring system. The use of bedding during summer or winter played a role in the total time it took to load and unload the ramp (p < 0.05). Bedding, bedding moisture, season, and slope significantly interacted to impact the total time to load and unload finishing pigs (p < 0.05). Heart rate and the total time it took to load and unload the ramp increased as the slope of the ramp increased (p < 0.05). Heart rates were higher during the summer than winter, and summer heart rates increased as the slope increased (p < 0.05). The current study suggests that several factors should be considered in combination to identify the appropriate bedding for the specific occasion.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Least Squares means for total time (TTime, s) it took to load and unload pigs on a ramp with slopes of 0, 10, 20 (p < 0.01). N = 100 observation of four pigs each. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05.
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animals-05-00013-f001: Least Squares means for total time (TTime, s) it took to load and unload pigs on a ramp with slopes of 0, 10, 20 (p < 0.01). N = 100 observation of four pigs each. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05.

Mentions: Slope played an important role in the amount of time it took to load and unload finishing pigs on the ramp. As the slope increased the time it took to load and unload increased (Figure 1). In the current study the slope and the use of bedding did not significantly affect scores, but did affect loading and unloading times as well as heart rates. The delay in loading and unloading due to unmanageable pigs may be frustrating to the handler, and even small amounts of threatening behaviors by humans can produce a chronic stress response in pigs [18]. Aggressive handling, including the use of electric prods, produce a major metabolic response that results in an increase in body temperature, decreased blood pH, and a high incidence of fatigued pigs [19]. The amount of time spent loading and unloading is important in the swine industry since loading pigs is considered the most critical part of the transport stage.


Loading and Unloading Finishing Pigs: Effects of Bedding Types, Ramp Angle, and Bedding Moisture.

Garcia A, McGlone JJ - Animals (Basel) (2014)

Least Squares means for total time (TTime, s) it took to load and unload pigs on a ramp with slopes of 0, 10, 20 (p < 0.01). N = 100 observation of four pigs each. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494331&req=5

animals-05-00013-f001: Least Squares means for total time (TTime, s) it took to load and unload pigs on a ramp with slopes of 0, 10, 20 (p < 0.01). N = 100 observation of four pigs each. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05.
Mentions: Slope played an important role in the amount of time it took to load and unload finishing pigs on the ramp. As the slope increased the time it took to load and unload increased (Figure 1). In the current study the slope and the use of bedding did not significantly affect scores, but did affect loading and unloading times as well as heart rates. The delay in loading and unloading due to unmanageable pigs may be frustrating to the handler, and even small amounts of threatening behaviors by humans can produce a chronic stress response in pigs [18]. Aggressive handling, including the use of electric prods, produce a major metabolic response that results in an increase in body temperature, decreased blood pH, and a high incidence of fatigued pigs [19]. The amount of time spent loading and unloading is important in the swine industry since loading pigs is considered the most critical part of the transport stage.

Bottom Line: Three ramp angles (0, 10 or 20 degrees), five bedding materials (nothing, sand, feed, wood shavings or wheat straw hay), two moistures (dry or wet bedding, >50% moisture) over two seasons (>23.9 °C summer, <23.9 °C winter) were assessed for slips/falls/vocalizations (n = 2400 pig observations) and analyzed with a scoring system.The use of bedding during summer or winter played a role in the total time it took to load and unload the ramp (p < 0.05).The current study suggests that several factors should be considered in combination to identify the appropriate bedding for the specific occasion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA. arlene.garcia@ttu.edu.

ABSTRACT
The use of non-slip surfaces during loading and unloading of finishing pigs plays an important role in animal welfare and economics of the pork industry. Currently, the guidelines available only suggest the use of ramps with a slope below 20 degrees to load and unload pigs. However, the total time it takes to load and unload animals and slips, falls, and vocalizations are a welfare concern. Three ramp angles (0, 10 or 20 degrees), five bedding materials (nothing, sand, feed, wood shavings or wheat straw hay), two moistures (dry or wet bedding, >50% moisture) over two seasons (>23.9 °C summer, <23.9 °C winter) were assessed for slips/falls/vocalizations (n = 2400 pig observations) and analyzed with a scoring system. The use of bedding during summer or winter played a role in the total time it took to load and unload the ramp (p < 0.05). Bedding, bedding moisture, season, and slope significantly interacted to impact the total time to load and unload finishing pigs (p < 0.05). Heart rate and the total time it took to load and unload the ramp increased as the slope of the ramp increased (p < 0.05). Heart rates were higher during the summer than winter, and summer heart rates increased as the slope increased (p < 0.05). The current study suggests that several factors should be considered in combination to identify the appropriate bedding for the specific occasion.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus