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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 for bedding x season interaction (p < 0.05). N = 30 observations. Bedding abbreviations N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter for total time within season are different at p < 0.05.
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animals-05-00013-f002: Least Squares means for total time for bedding x season interaction (p < 0.05). N = 30 observations. Bedding abbreviations N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter for total time within season are different at p < 0.05.

Mentions: Season (whether summer or winter) affected the amount of time it took the pigs to load and unload the ramp. There was a significant interaction for season and bedding (p < 0.05). The time it took to load and unload finishing pigs during the summer was highest for sand and hay, respectively 125 ± 21.7 s and 116 ± 23.7 s (Figure 2). It took a shorter amount of time for finishing pigs to load and unload when feed or when nothing was placed on the ramp during the summer, respectively 80 ± 23.4 s and 83 ± 24.3 s. Feed was used as a bedding because it is sometimes used by people trying to load pigs at the farm when other bedding is not available. According to this study, the use of feed is an effective method to reduce loading and unloading times in the summer, but not using any bedding on the ramp was also acceptable in the summer. During the winter months, the use of wood shavings, sand, and feed had the lowest loading and unloading times, respectively, 35 ± 24.1 s, 47 ± 29.6 s, and 58 ±20.1 s. Differences in the total time it took to load and unload with different beddings may have been due to preferences in the smell and consistency of the beddings. For example, feed placed on the ramp was the same type of feed the pigs were fed on a daily basis and the smell may not have been novel to them, hence not attracting them to stay longer smelling and investigating it. The other beddings were novel and this may be the reason total handling times increased with their use. The novelty effect plus the fact that hay was edible may have been another reason total loading and unloading times increased with its use. Sand and wood shavings were not significantly different than feed, they were novel, but not edible (compared to hay). Overall, the use of bedding on ramps and season effect on loading and unloading times has been poorly documented and makes it difficult to compare current results to previous findings.


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 for bedding x season interaction (p < 0.05). N = 30 observations. Bedding abbreviations N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter for total time within season 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-f002: Least Squares means for total time for bedding x season interaction (p < 0.05). N = 30 observations. Bedding abbreviations N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter for total time within season are different at p < 0.05.
Mentions: Season (whether summer or winter) affected the amount of time it took the pigs to load and unload the ramp. There was a significant interaction for season and bedding (p < 0.05). The time it took to load and unload finishing pigs during the summer was highest for sand and hay, respectively 125 ± 21.7 s and 116 ± 23.7 s (Figure 2). It took a shorter amount of time for finishing pigs to load and unload when feed or when nothing was placed on the ramp during the summer, respectively 80 ± 23.4 s and 83 ± 24.3 s. Feed was used as a bedding because it is sometimes used by people trying to load pigs at the farm when other bedding is not available. According to this study, the use of feed is an effective method to reduce loading and unloading times in the summer, but not using any bedding on the ramp was also acceptable in the summer. During the winter months, the use of wood shavings, sand, and feed had the lowest loading and unloading times, respectively, 35 ± 24.1 s, 47 ± 29.6 s, and 58 ±20.1 s. Differences in the total time it took to load and unload with different beddings may have been due to preferences in the smell and consistency of the beddings. For example, feed placed on the ramp was the same type of feed the pigs were fed on a daily basis and the smell may not have been novel to them, hence not attracting them to stay longer smelling and investigating it. The other beddings were novel and this may be the reason total handling times increased with their use. The novelty effect plus the fact that hay was edible may have been another reason total loading and unloading times increased with its use. Sand and wood shavings were not significantly different than feed, they were novel, but not edible (compared to hay). Overall, the use of bedding on ramps and season effect on loading and unloading times has been poorly documented and makes it difficult to compare current results to previous findings.

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