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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 average heart rate at different slopes during summer or winter season (p < 0.05). Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within season.
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animals-05-00013-f003: Least Squares means for average heart rate at different slopes during summer or winter season (p < 0.05). Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within season.

Mentions: Heart rates in finishing pigs increased as the slope increased and were observed to be higher during the summer than during the winter (p < 0.05). Heart rates at a 0 degree slope during the summer were significantly lower than at 10 and 20 degree slopes (p < 0.05) (Figure 3). Heart rates did not differ during the winter, regardless of slope. The increase in heart rates during the summer may also be attributed to heat stress and not solely just the bedding and slope of the ramp. Both high environmental temperatures in summer and temperature fluctuations affect the animal’s ability to maintain body temperature which results in stress [27]. Heart rate is an important measure commonly used to evaluate animal welfare during stimulated handling and transportation [28]. Heart rate is used as a sign of autonomic response to stress and welfare of animals during exposure to stressors [29] and may also be related to body weight [28]. Pigs may perceive environmental aspects as aversive, and it has been suggested that noise may also be a disturbing factor that may increase heart rate [30].The number of studies looking at heart rate and its association to bedding and season have not been widely documented. However, a direct positive correlation between heart rate during loading and ramp slope have been reported [24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31]. Alternative methods to loading, such as the use of tailgate lifts have been reported to reduce heart rate in comparison to ramp loading [32].


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 average heart rate at different slopes during summer or winter season (p < 0.05). Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within season.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-05-00013-f003: Least Squares means for average heart rate at different slopes during summer or winter season (p < 0.05). Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within season.
Mentions: Heart rates in finishing pigs increased as the slope increased and were observed to be higher during the summer than during the winter (p < 0.05). Heart rates at a 0 degree slope during the summer were significantly lower than at 10 and 20 degree slopes (p < 0.05) (Figure 3). Heart rates did not differ during the winter, regardless of slope. The increase in heart rates during the summer may also be attributed to heat stress and not solely just the bedding and slope of the ramp. Both high environmental temperatures in summer and temperature fluctuations affect the animal’s ability to maintain body temperature which results in stress [27]. Heart rate is an important measure commonly used to evaluate animal welfare during stimulated handling and transportation [28]. Heart rate is used as a sign of autonomic response to stress and welfare of animals during exposure to stressors [29] and may also be related to body weight [28]. Pigs may perceive environmental aspects as aversive, and it has been suggested that noise may also be a disturbing factor that may increase heart rate [30].The number of studies looking at heart rate and its association to bedding and season have not been widely documented. However, a direct positive correlation between heart rate during loading and ramp slope have been reported [24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31]. Alternative methods to loading, such as the use of tailgate lifts have been reported to reduce heart rate in comparison to ramp loading [32].

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