Original scientific paper
Observations of water intake by sucking piglets during various seasons
2019, 20 (3) p. 780-787
The aim of the study was to observe and quantify the intake of water by piglets in the sucking period up to 28 days. An attempt was made to compare the quantity of taken water sinks in four different periods, similar to the occurrence of calendar seasons in Poland's climatic conditions. The research was conducted in the conditions of a pig farm, producing fatteners in a closed cycle. The observations included 17 litters obtained from Polish Landrace (PL) sows mated by four Polish Large White (PLW) boars. They were conducted during the full calendar year in four groups, depending on the date of birth and rearing: from 1 December to 28 February (Group I), from 1 March to 31 May (Group II), from 1 June to 31 August (Group III) and from 1 September to 30 November (Group IV). The number piglets in litters, total weight of litter and individual weight of piglets were similar among groups. Some piglets (Group I) started taking water from the first day of life, but it was a small amount. The regular intake of all piglets started at 3 days of age. The highest water intake was recorded in spring-summer (Group II and III), and as a percentage of 1 kg body weight of piglets, the highest consumption occurred in group II (March-May). It was hypothesized that the increased water requirement in the spring and summer months may be due to the variability of the conditions related to the outdoor temperature, the length of the light day and thus the varied life activities of the piglets. Perhaps, it is also related to atavistic symptoms in pigs. However, this requires further research.