Relationship between inclusion level of Vachellia tortilis leaf meal and behavioral activities of finishing pigs

  • Received : 2018.11.23
  • Accepted : 2019.01.28
  • Published : 2020.01.01


Objective: The study was conducted to establish a relationship between inclusion level of Vachellia tortilis (V. tortilis) leaf meal and time spent on different behavioral activities by finishing pigs. Methods: A total of forty-eight male Large White×Landrace finishing pigs with a mean (±standard deviation) body weight of 63.8±3.28 kg aged 14 wks were assigned to individual pens in a completely randomized design. Pigs were fed on diets containing 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 g/kg dry matter of V. tortilis leaf meal ad libitum with fresh water provided throughout the trial. There were eight pigs in each experimental diet. The behavior of pigs was observed for three wks twice a wk from 0600 to 1800 h using six closed circuit television cameras. Results: Increasing levels of V. tortilis leaf meal caused a linear decrease (p<0.05) in time spent eating, lying down and the number of visit to the feeder. Time spent standing and biting objects increased linearly (p<0.05) with increasing inclusion level of V. tortilis leaf meal. The was a negative linear relationship (p<0.05) between condensed tannins versus time spent eating, lying down and number of feeder visits. Condensed tannins showed a positive linear relationship (p<0.05) with time spent standing and biting objects. Neutral detergent fiber caused a linear decrease (p<0.05) in number of feeder visits, time spent eating, time spent standing. Conclusion: Inclusion level of V. tortilis leaf meal reduces time spent eating, lying down and the number of feeder visit while prolonging time spent standing and biting of objects. Condensed tannins and dietary fiber are among nutritional factors affecting behavioral activities displayed by finishing pigs.


Supported by : University of KwaZulu-Natal


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