Feed Intake Behaviour of different Pig Breeds during Performance Testing on Station
The aim of the study was to compare the feed intake behaviour of the two main pig breeds used as dam lines in Austria, Large White and Landrace, and to clarify whether there is an effect of MHS-type on feeding patterns in Pietrain. Feed intake behaviour of 1.593 pigs of three different breeds (618 Large White, 486 Landrace, 489 Pietrain) kept in group pens (maximum 13 pigs per pen) was analyzed. Different traits such as visits per hour and per day, time in the feeding station per hour and per day, feed intake per hour and per day and feed consumption rate were used to describe feed intake behaviour for the observation periods testing day and testing period. By using Generalized Linear Models differences in feed intake behaviour between the breeds were assessed. LS-Means were used to describe feed intake patterns for each breed. Large White and Landrace animals showed clearly different feed intake strategies: Large White can be characterized by a high number of visits in the station combined with shorter time spent in the station and lower consumption rates. Landrace animals tend to visit the feeding station less often per hour but compensate this with staying longer in the feeding station resulting in a higher feed intake per meal. The effects of MHS-type on feeding patterns of Pietrain, were small. Finally the relationships between selected growth and carcass traits (average daily gain, feed conversion ratio, lean meat content, meat quality index, intramuscular fat content) and selected feed intake behaviour traits (average feed intake per day, average time per day, average feed consumption rate) were analyzed using regression analysis. Average feed intake had a significant influence on all performance traits except the meat quality index.