Short-term feeding behavior of pigs has been analyzed using random process models and log-normal models. Both were successful despite very different underlying assumptions relating to the theory of control. Feeder visits of growing pigs, housed individually from 17 to 52 kg live weight, were recorded electronically over a continuous period of 35 days. For the combined data, intervals between visits to the feeder greater than 30 min could be described well by the negative exponential model. The starting probability of a visit was constant at around 0.3, suggesting randomness. Disaggregating the data for individual pigs or for individual weeks did not change this conclusion. Intervals in the day were of a different nature to those at night, and disaggregation of the data into these two periods revealed that the negative exponential model was not satisfactory for either period. The starting probability for both periods increased with time since the last visit. This is consistent with the idea of satiety. Therefore, the apparent randomness in the data pooled across the day and night is an artefact caused by pooling itself, and is not in conflict with the satiety concept. The implications of data handling are discussed with reference to studies of the physiological control of food intake. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Feeding patterns
- Food intake