Feeding behaviour and social influences on feed intake

F. Xavier Manteca, S. Edwards

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The food intake and growth of pigs are affected by both physical and social constraints influencing feeding behaviour. Feeder design has received some empirical study, but only limited systematic scientific investigation despite its importance for both intake and feed wastage. Feeding space requirements are subject to interacting influences of pig age, diet form, feeder design and social constraints. The flexibility of feeding behaviour in the pig makes it difficult to synthesise firm predictions of the relationship between feeding space and performance in different contexts from current knowledge. Other social stressors including group size, mixing of unfamiliar animals and stocking density can adversely affect performance by inhibiting or disrupting access to the feeder, by indirect effects on feed intake through a physiological stress response and by exacerbating the effects of heat stress when pigs are crowded. The interactions between these factors require further research to develop quantitative predictive models to inform practical decisions. © Wageningen Academic Publishers The Netherlands, 2009. All rights are reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVoluntary Feed Intake in Pigs
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Feed intake
  • Feeder design
  • Feeding space
  • Growth
  • Social stressors


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