Study of the feeding behavior of growing pigs based on data from automatic feeders.

Pierre Menguy

Since 2013, Nucléus has equipped several selection farms with automatic feeding machines allowing individual consumption indices (Feed conversion ration - FCR) to be obtained, thus contributing to the improvement of selection work on feed efficiency.

In order to go further in understanding the mechanisms of eating behavior and to study the relationships with animals performances, Pierre Menguy, student at ESA Angers, carried out his internship on data from automatic feeder in Nucleus. A challenging job because more than 20 million lines of raw data have been collected in 7 breeding farms on several breeds. The elementary unit of this data is the visit, i.e. a passage of the animal in the feeder without interruption. Grouping these visits into meals, using methods described in the literature, made it possible to study eating behavior at different scales.

The study and bibliographic review showed interesting conclusions:

  • Pietrains have lower food ingestion rates, with longer meals. Conversely, the Large White is a “nibbler”, splitting its daily food intake into many small meals.
  • Animals with a large number of meals and high daily consumption have a higher lipid deposition, they are generally fatter and less efficient.

This work constitutes a first step in the study of eating behavior, which will continue with the study of the genetic determinism of this criterion.


© NUCLÉUS 2018 - Legal mention - Creation by Mediapilote - Privacy policy - Cookies policy