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Effect of Different Lighting Sources on Behavior and Growth of Weanling Pigs

  • Glatz, P.C.
  • Received : 2000.08.16
  • Accepted : 2000.10.25
  • Published : 2001.02.01

Abstract

These studies aimed to determine how lighting might be used to improve feed intake and reduce aggressive behavior in newly weaned pigs. To examine whether this objective could be achieved an experiment was conducted to compare performance, behavior and body condition of weaners over 17-45 days, provided similar lighting quality (i.e. color temperature, color rendering index and lighting distribution) after weaning that piglets experienced prior to weaning. Triphosphor (TP) lighting to simulate daylight was provided during the day while at night, Pascal red (PR) lighting was provided to simulate the night-light piglets previously had received from infrared heating lamps. This treatment was compared to weaners provided conventional cool-white fluorescent light during the day only. Weaners on treatment lighting from 17-45 days of age showed no improvement in body weight or feed conversion at 24, 31, 38 and 45 days compared to the controls. There was, however, a significant improvement (p<0.05) in feed intake in the first week of weaning for weaners provided TP/PR lighting. Over the first 3 days of weaning, pigs on TP/PR lighting showed an increase (p<0.05) in the incidence of ear chewing but reduced (p<0.05) levels of nosing the abdomen of other pigs and reduced (p<0.05) occurrences of being stood on by other pigs. Females exhibited more (p<0.05) mounting and nosing behaviors and rubbing the heads of other pigs than males. On the other hand, males engaged in more (p<0.05) fighting, nipping, ear chewing and standing on other pigs compared to females. Pigs provided PR lighting on the first night of weaning engaged in higher (p<0.05) incidences of nosing and tail sucking behaviors, more (p<0.05) head thrusting, fighting and ear chewing compared to control pigs. The body condition of weaners provided the TP/PR lighting treatment was significantly poorer (p<0.05) compared to weaners on control lighting. In conclusion there was no improvement in production performance of weaners provided new technology lighting apart from the improvement in feed intake in the first week weaners were exposed to the TP/PR lighting.

Keywords

Weaners;Lighting;Welfare;Behavior