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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 for different beddings 0, 10, and 20 degree slopes (p < 0.01). Beddings abbreviated by N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within bedding.
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animals-05-00013-f005: Least Squares means for average heart rate for different beddings 0, 10, and 20 degree slopes (p < 0.01). Beddings abbreviated by N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within bedding.

Mentions: The use of bedding at different slopes either significantly reduced heart rates or increased them (p < 0.01). Using nothing at a 0 degree slope had higher heart rates than at 10 and 20 degree slopes, therefore heart rates decreases as the slope increased (Figure 5). This can possibly be attributed to the speed at which the finishing pigs went up the ramp. At a 0 degree slope, finishing pigs tended to run up the ramp when there was no bedding. Since the 0 degree slope is similar to being in the pen or walking down the aisle, the pigs navigated through the ramp faster. When the slope increased they slowed down their pace of loading, pigs may have been trying to maintain their equilibrium. The use of hay as a bedding had similar results as using nothing. Heart rates were higher at a 0 degree slope and they decreased as the slope increased. When feed was used on the ramp heart rates increased as the slope increased. Heart rates were significantly higher at 10 and 20 degree slopes overall during the summer compared to a 0 degree sloped ramp (level floor). An increase in heart rates has been documented to increase as the slope increases from 0 to 21 degree slopes [21].


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 for different beddings 0, 10, and 20 degree slopes (p < 0.01). Beddings abbreviated by N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within bedding.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-05-00013-f005: Least Squares means for average heart rate for different beddings 0, 10, and 20 degree slopes (p < 0.01). Beddings abbreviated by N = nothing, F = feed, S = sand, WS = wood shavings, H = hay. Superscripts without a common letter are different at p < 0.05 within bedding.
Mentions: The use of bedding at different slopes either significantly reduced heart rates or increased them (p < 0.01). Using nothing at a 0 degree slope had higher heart rates than at 10 and 20 degree slopes, therefore heart rates decreases as the slope increased (Figure 5). This can possibly be attributed to the speed at which the finishing pigs went up the ramp. At a 0 degree slope, finishing pigs tended to run up the ramp when there was no bedding. Since the 0 degree slope is similar to being in the pen or walking down the aisle, the pigs navigated through the ramp faster. When the slope increased they slowed down their pace of loading, pigs may have been trying to maintain their equilibrium. The use of hay as a bedding had similar results as using nothing. Heart rates were higher at a 0 degree slope and they decreased as the slope increased. When feed was used on the ramp heart rates increased as the slope increased. Heart rates were significantly higher at 10 and 20 degree slopes overall during the summer compared to a 0 degree sloped ramp (level floor). An increase in heart rates has been documented to increase as the slope increases from 0 to 21 degree slopes [21].

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