Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs

Animal Industry Report, Feb 2014

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between handling intensity and surface temperature of the market weight pig at the time of loading on commercial farms. One hundred and fifty-five loads of market weight pigs were used. Handling intensity (HI) score ranged from 1 to 5 where 1 was very good handling and 5 was very poor handling. Researchers took pig movement, use of handling tools, and vocalizations, slips and falls, and stress signs into consideration when scoring. All data is presented descriptively. A total of 77.4 % scored ≤ 3 for HI, indicating a positive animal-human interaction at the time of loading. A total of 20.0 % scored a HI of 4 and 2.6 % of loads being scored a HI of 5 (4 loads/155 total loads scoring unacceptable). When moving from HI 1 (very good handling) to HI 5 (very poor handling) the surface temperature increased 2.7 °C. However, the relationship was very weak (R2 < 0.01). In conclusion, over 76 % of observed loading events were classified as normal handling or better, indicating a positive animal-human interaction. However, the relationship between HI score used in this study and the recorded surface temperature of pigs was very weak. Therefore, collecting pig surface temperature does not seem to be a useful assessment tool when using this specific HI scoring system.

A PDF file should load here. If you do not see its contents the file may be temporarily unavailable at the journal website or you do not have a PDF plug-in installed and enabled in your browser.

Alternatively, you can download the file locally and open with any standalone PDF reader:

http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2020&context=ans_air

Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs

Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs Caroline M. Mohling 0 1 2 Anna K . Johnson 0 1 2 Kenneth J. Stalder 0 1 2 Ted W. Huiatt 0 1 2 Avi Sapkota 0 1 2 Iowa State University 0 Iowa State University , USA 1 This Swine is brought to you for free and open access by the Animal Science Research Reports at Iowa State University Digital Repository. It has been accepted for inclusion in Animal Industry Report by an authorized editor of Iowa State University Digital Repository. For more information , please contact , USA 2 Mohling, Caroline M.; Johnson, Anna K.; Stalder , Kenneth J.; Huiatt, Ted W.; Sapkota, Avi; and McGlone , John James (2014) "Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs , " Animal Industry Report: AS 660, ASL R2911. Available at: Recommended Citation - See next page for additional authors Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs Authors Caroline M. Mohling, Anna K. Johnson, Kenneth J. Stalder, Ted W. Huiatt, Avi Sapkota, and John James McGlone This swine is available in Animal Industry Report: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol660/iss1/76 Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs A.S. Leaflet R2911 Rebecca Kephart, Graduate Research Assistant; Anna Johnson, Associate Professor; Kenneth Stalder, Professor; Ted Huiatt, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University; Avi Sapkota, Graduate Research Assistant; John James McGlone, Professor, Animal Science, Department of Animal Science, Texas Tech University, TX Summary and Implications The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between handling intensity and surface temperature of the market weight pig at the time of loading on commercial farms. One hundred and fifty-five loads of market weight pigs were used. Handling intensity (HI) score ranged from 1 to 5 where 1 was very good handling and 5 was very poor handling. Researchers took pig movement, use of handling tools, and vocalizations, slips and falls, and stress signs into consideration when scoring. All data is presented descriptively. A total of 77.4 % scored ≤ 3 for HI, indicating a positive animal-human interaction at the time of loading. A total of 20.0 % scored a HI of 4 and 2.6 % of loads being scored a HI of 5 (4 loads/155 total loads scoring unacceptable). When moving from HI 1 (very good handling) to HI 5 (very poor handling) the surface temperature increased 2.7 °C. However, the relationship was very weak (R2 < 0.01). In conclusion, over 76 % of observed loading events were classified as normal handling or better, indicating a positive animal-human interaction. However, the relationship between HI score used in this study and the recorded surface temperature of pigs was very weak. Therefore, collecting pig surface temperature does not seem to be a useful assessment tool when using this specific HI scoring system. Introduction Good animal handlers who understand pig behavior, the production system, and the impact on pork quality can minimize poor facility design. In most commercial settings in the Midwestern U.S., pigs are placed in wean-to-finish buildings with little to no direct contact with humans; generally, the pigs do not leave their home pen until they are marketed. Stressors at loading could be related to the physical exertion, noise, unfamiliar experience, and close contact with humans. In addition, how the pig and handler interact during the marketing process is critical for the wellbeing of the pig and the safety of the handler. Different handling tools are used on farm including electric prods (“goads” / “hot-shots”), sort-and flying V boards, rattles, and paddles. Handling intensity is a relative scale, used to compare animal-human interactions. Pigs that are handled “aggressively” or “intensely” have been reported to have higher rectal temperature and heart rate. In turn these pigs more likely to become non-ambulatory, and display more stress signs (open mouth breathing and skin discoloration). However, the relationship between market weight pig surface temperature and handling intensity at loading has not been investigated. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the relationship between handling intensity and surface temperature of the market weight pig at the time of loading on commercial farms. Materials and Methods This project was approved by the Iowa State University Institute for Animal Care and Use Committee. Six trained researchers collected data during loading. The researcher stood in a location where they could see the pigs, but were not interfering with the loading process. This location was either just inside the barn or in the handler area of the loading chute. Animals and housing. Market weight commercial barrows and gilts pigs from barns were transported to a commercial packing plant, all facilities were located in Iowa. Pigs weighed 122 ± 6 kg. This experiment used 155 trailers carrying > 22,000 pigs. Data was collected during two-1 wk periods during June and July 2011. Handling intensity (HI). During loading, 100 pigs/load had the number of vocalizations, slips and falls, stress signs, and willful acts of abuse counted. After loading was complete, a HI score was assigned using a 1 through 5 scale, where 1 was very good handling and 5 was very poor handling (Table 1). Surface temperature measurements. Surface temperatures were collected at loading using a dual laser infrared thermometer (model 42750: Dual Laser Infrared Thermometer Extech Instruments) with a sensitivity of 0.1 °C. Temperatures were taken laterally near the midline of 10 pigs/load. Statistics. The experimental unit for HI and surface temperature was a trailer of pigs. For each load the surface temperatures from 10 pigs were averaged. Data will be presented descriptively. Excel was used to find the relationship (R2) between surface temperature and handling intensity. Results and Discussion A total of 77.5 % loads scored ≤ 3 for HI, indicating a positive animal-human interaction at the time of loading. A total of 20.0 % scored a HI of 4 and 2.6 % of loads scored a HI of 5 (4 loads/155 total loads scoring unacceptable; Figure 1). The mean, SD, minimum, and maximum values of surface temperature (°C) are presented descriptively in Table 2. When moving from HI 1 (very good handling) to HI 5 (very poor handling) the surface temperature increased 2.7 °C. However, the relationship was weak (R2 < 0.01). Over 77 % of observed loading events were classified as normal- or better handling, indicating a positive animalhuman interaction. However, the relationship between HI score used in this study and the recorded surface temperature of pigs was very weak. Therefore, collecting pig surface temperature does not seem to be a useful assessment tool when using this specific HI scoring system. Acknowledgements Thank you to the processing plant and participating farms; caretakers, farm owners, and truck drivers. Thank you to the funding agency the National Pork Board for funding this project. Thank you to all the researchers from Iowa State University and Texas Tech University that made data collection possible: Dr. Art Coquelin, Alex Folkman, Dr. Avi Sapkota, Holland Doughtry, Derek Thomison, Megan Place, Dr. Monique Pairis-Garcia, Brittany Davis, Joel Cowart, and Garret Thomsen. > 90 % pigs walk onto the trailer voluntarily. Handling tools1 make no contact with pigs. Pigs are not rushed2 onto the trailer. Loading Pig-human interaction Sound Loading Pig-human interaction Sound Loading Pig-human interaction Sound Loading Loading is quiet with very few slips, falls, and pig vocalizations. ≥ 51 to 90 % of pigs walk onto the trailer voluntarily. 2 Handling tools make contact with several pigs. Very few pigs are rushed onto Good handling the trailer. Loading is relatively quiet with a few slips, falls, and pig vocalizations. ~ 50% of pigs walk on the trailer voluntarily 3 Handling tools make contact with many pigs. Normal handling Pigs are rushed onto the trailer. The loading is quite loud and rough with many slips, falls and vocalizations. 10 to 49 % pigs walk onto the trailer voluntarily. Poor h4andling iPnitge-rhaucmtioann PwHioagnusdladlrinehgahvateonodlollseaddcoeudnntwaaccicttheaoplutoattbholayfn3pdbilgyesra.atPclietgiaossntaroaernereuchsoahnnetddalcoetren.dtowt hitehthraainledrlianngdtopoiglss. that Sound The loading is loud and rough resulting in a lot of slips, falls and vocalizations. Loading ≤ 9 % pigs walk onto the trailer voluntarily. Pigs are rushed onto the trailer and pigs that would have loaded without handler 5 Pig-human action are contacted with handling tools. Handling tools contact a lot of pigs Very poor handling interaction multiple times. Pigs are unacceptably handled multiple times by at least one handler. Sound The loading is loud and rough resulting in a lot of slips, falls, and vocalizations. 1 Handling tools rattles, paddles, rattle-paddles, flags, rattle-bats, sorting boards and other items used to handle pigs 2 Rushed was defined as pigs being pushed to walk at a faster than normal pace 3 Unacceptable handling, as defined by Transport Quality Assurance or American Meats Institute using handling tools on sensitive areas of the pigs or touching the pig multiple times with a handling tool resulting in a squeal


This is a preview of a remote PDF: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2020&context=ans_air

Caroline M. Mohling, Anna K. Johnson, Kenneth J Stalder, Ted W. Huiatt, Avi Sapkota, John James McGlone. Effects of Handling Intensity on Surface Temperature when Loading Market Weight Pigs, Animal Industry Report, 2014,