Water intake and wastage at nipple drinkers by growing-finishing pigs

Yuzhi Li, L. Chénard, S. P. Lemay, H. W. Gonyou

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39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three experiments were conducted to assess water intake, water wastage, and a means to decrease water wastage by growing-finishing pigs from nipple drinkers. In Exp. 1, 48 pigs were studied during two periods (average BW = 53 and 72 kg for Period 1 and 2, respectively). Water disappearance and wastage were determined for 4 d, while nipple drinkers were set at 50 mm above the shoulder height of the smallest pig in the pen (recommended heights), with flow rates at 700 mL/min during Period 1, and 1,000 mL/min during Period 2. Water intake rate was assessed at two nipple flow rates, approximately 650 and 1,300 mL/min during the Period 1, and 1,000 and 2,000 mL/min during the Period 2. The average water intake was 4.01 and 5.38 ± 0.19 L·pig -1·d-1 during Periods 1 and 2, respectively (P < 0.01). Water wastage as a percentage of water disappearance was similar between the two periods (25.8 and 27.0 ± 1.9% for Periods 1 and 2, respectively). Water intake rate was 467 and 795 mL/min (±34.2; P < 0.01) during Period 1, and 722 and 1,422 mL/min (±80.0; P < 0.01) during Period 2, at the lower and higher flow rates, respectively. In Exp. 2, 32 pigs were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design to determine effects of nipple heights (recommended vs. unadjusted = 330 mm) and flow rates (500 vs. 1,000 mL/min) on water intake and wastage. Water wastage was increased (P < 0.01) on the unadjusted vs. recommended nipple height, and the higher flow rate also resulted in greater wastage (P = 0.03) compared with the lower rate. In Exp. 3, water disappearance and manure output in 16 pens of 18 pigs per pen were monitored for 12 wk (average initial BW = 32 kg) using four drinker treatments (bowl drinker, nipple drinker at recommended heights, an unadjusted nipple set at 480 mm, and high nipple drinker height of 730 mm with a step underneath). For pigs on the high nipple drinker, the average water disappearance and manure output did not differ from those of the pigs on the recommended nipple heights and bowl drinker, but these measurements were 15 and 12% lower, respectively, than for the pigs on the low nipple drinker. The results indicate that growing-finishing pigs can maintain adequate water intake from a variety of drinker types and management. Water wastage can be controlled through drinker management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1422
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume83
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Drinking Behavior
  • Nipple Drinkers
  • Pigs
  • Water Intake
  • Water Wastage

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