The technology to measure individual feed consumption of pigs in groups using electronic feeders is a recent development. As well as providing information on total feed consumption and consequently feed efficiency it is also possible to examine feeding behaviour under normal social conditions (ad libitum feeding in groups). Changes in feeding behaviour over a performance test are of particular interest to determine if growing pigs increase consumption by larger meals, more frequent feeding or a combination of both.
Selection for high lean growth rate may lead to changes in both feeding behaviour and duration of feeding which could have undesirable side effects in a genetic selection programme. Increased feeding activity may lead to aggression and lost efficiency of feed conversion due to greater activity.