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Pasture intake and grazing behaviour of growing European wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) and domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus, Landrace×Large White) in a semi-extensive production system

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2017

Institute of Animal Production, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
Institute of Animal Production, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile Graduate School, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
Institute of Animal Production, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
Institute of Animal Production, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email:


The objective of the present study was to determine the pasture intake of European wild boar and domestic pigs throughout their growth period (from 60 to 207 days of age). The proportion of time that each animal type spent grazing was also determined. Twelve 60-day-old pure-bred European wild boar (six castrated males and six females, average live-weight (±s.e.m.) 6·8 ± 0·37 kg) and 12 70-day-old domestic pigs (Large White × Landrace, six castrated males and six females, average live-weight [ ± s.e.m.] 24·1 ± 0·66 kg) were used in the study. Each day during the study, the animals grazed from 08·00 until 16·00 h, after which they had ad-libitum access to a supplemental diet for 1 h. Every 14 days throughout the study (a total of ten determinations), the pasture consumption was determined as the difference between the pasture dry matter (DM) availability pre- and post-grazing. The supplemental diet consumption was also determined. Three times during the study (age of animals 85, 140 and 198 days), the behaviour of each animal was observed over four consecutive days while grazing. When considered on a metabolic bodyweight basis, the pasture consumption of the European wild boar was greater than that in the domestic pigs. Approximately 0·20 of the total DM intake by the wild boar was pasture, whereas only 0·10 of the total DM intake by the domestic pigs was pasture. However, domestic pigs consumed a greater quantity of supplemental diet than the wild boar. The wild boar obtained 0·20 of their total daily dietary apparent energy intake from pasture, compared with 0·07 in the domestic pigs. Wild boar were more active during 8-h grazing periods spending 0·54 of their time grazing or moving around, compared with 0·32 of the time in domestic pigs.

Animal Research Papers
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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Present address: Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.



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