Enrichment strategy of object combination on the behaviour of growing pigs
This study was carried out to determine the effect of object combination as environmental enrichment on behaviour of growing pigs. Thirty-six (36) crossbreed (Large White X Landrace) growing pigs with average weight of 34-36Kg were allotted randomly into four treatments, replicated three times in a completely randomized design. The four treatments were; Control (without enrichment), PRope (2 pieces of polyester rope), treatment SWood (2 pieces of soft wood) and treatment PRope+SWood (1 piece of soft wood and 1 piece of polyester rope). Behavioural observations were monitored by CCTV and recordings were made for 6 hours/day and 3days/week. At the end of the experiment, data collected includes average feed intake and average weight gain while feed conversion ratio was calculated. Likewise, behavioural observations; enrichment use, general activities, pen manipulation and pen-mate manipulation were observed. Behavioural data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) while performance data were analysed using oneway ANOVA. Performance data were significantly influenced (P<0.05) by enrichments for all the parameters measured. PRope+SWood had the highest value for the final weight (50.63kg), average weight gain (15.95kg) and average feed intake (56.61kg) while PRope had the highest FCR 4.18). Penmate manipulation (10.48%), pen manipulation (19.02%) and general activities (14.62%) were lower and significantly better for PRope+SWood compared to PRope and SWood and the highest interaction with enrichment objects was observed in the PRope+SWood (55.88%). It can be concluded that the use of combination of enrichment objects enhanced the performance and behaviour of pigs.
Keywords: Behaviour, Environmental enrichment, Enrichment use, Pen-mate manipulation, Pen manipulation