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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #224957

Title: Validation of a water HOBO and the Noldus Observer for drinking behavior in the nursery pig

item Dailey, Jeffery
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll

Submitted to: American Dairy Science Association Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2007
Publication Date: 7/15/2008
Citation: Meiszberg, A., Johnson, A., Dailey, J.W., Carroll, J.A., Sadler, L., Garvey, J., Krebs, N. 2008. Validation of a water HOBO and the Noldus Observer for drinking behavior in the nursery pig [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 86(E. Suppl. 2):400. (Abstract #TH2)

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Collecting accurate behavioral events for extended periods can be time consuming. If a device could accurately record duration and frequency for a behavioral event, this would provide a useful research tool. The objectives of this study were to determine the accuracy of an automatic water meter compared to a human observer for drinking duration (s) and the frequency of visits to the waterer by nursery pigs. Eleven PIC USA gilts (22 ± 2 d of age; 6.5 ± 1.4 Kg BW) were used to compare two methods; Observer software (OBS) and water meter Hobos (WMHOBO) affixed to the water line. For our study, the WMHOBO was defined as the control for drinking duration and visits. All gilts were housed individually in stainless steel pens and had ad libitum access to a corn-based diet and one water nipple. Drinking behavior was collected on d 0, 7, and 14 of the trial using one color camera positioned over four attached pens that recorded onto a RECO-204 DVR for 24-h at 1 fps. Drinking was defined as head over the water nipple. Behavioral measures were collected continuously from DVDs by two trained observers. Data were transformed prior to statistical analysis, and the duration and frequency were analyzed using the general linear model (GLM) and regression procedures in SAS®. The GLM model included the method of observation and pig nested within method for the error term. The method of observation affected (P = 0.0008) the duration (13.88 ± 1.43 s for WMHOBO vs. 22.58 ± 1.46 s for OBS) and visits (P = 0.0048) for drinking behavior (4.94 ± 0.33 visits for WMHOBO vs. 3.48 ± 0.33 visits for OBS). For seconds and frequency of visits to the drinker, R2 was 0.5633 and 0.6871, respectively. In conclusion, the relationship between methods was weak. Also, OBS method underestimated the number of visits and overestimated the total duration of drinking for the nursery pig compared to the WMHOBO.