The short-term feeding behavior of growing pigs fed foods differing in bulk content

Emma C. Whittemore*, Ilias Kyriazakis, Bert J. Tolkamp, Gerry C. Emmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the effects of foods of different bulk on the short-term feeding behavior (STFB) of 16 individually housed pigs. The three foods used had different bulk contents [low - control (C), medium - 70% wheat bran (WB), and high - 70% sugar beet pulp (SBP)]. We expected the different intakes of the foods to be reflected in differences in STFB. Three hypotheses were developed based on ideas about the way in which a physical constraint to intake could arise. H1: there would be less diurnal variation in feeding on high-bulk foods that limit food intake. H2: feeding patterns on the bulky foods would be less flexible than those on C. H3: a change in food type would result in food intake and STFB being rapidly altered to become appropriate to the new food. There were significant differences in food intake and STFB between the foods as intended. Pigs fed WB and SBP spent longer eating and had a slower feeding rate (FR) than pigs fed C. H1 was rejected, as there was no difference in diurnal variation in intake between the foods. Feeding was not extended into the night on WB and SBP and the proportion of feeding that occurred during the night was the same for all three foods. H2 was supported, as pigs fed WB and SBP were unable to maintain food intake and performance when time of access to the feeder was reduced. There was no adaptive change in STFB. H3 was supported as a change from WB or SBP to C, or vice versa, caused a rapid change in STFB so that it became appropriate to the new food. It is concluded that physical constraints to food intake, caused by food bulk, may bring about changes in STFB and that they are important for the regulation of intake of such foods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 May 2002


  • Bulk
  • Constraint
  • Fibre
  • Food intake
  • Pigs
  • Short-term feeding behavior


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