Key Lab of Agricultural Bio-environment Engineering of Ministry of Agriculture, and Department of Agricultural Structure & Bioenvironmental Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
In order to investigate piglet welfare and the effect of transport on piglets, a transport experiment was designed on the road from Beijing to Handan. The piglets' behaviour and performance was measured and the transport temperature, transport space allowance and transport duration were considered in this experiment. Data processing showed: (1) Significant negative correlation between transport temperature and the percent of pigs' lying behaviour in this experiment (Pearson Correlation Test, R＝-0.324，P<0.01); (2) No significant difference between two transport space allowances on the piglets' standing (Mann-Whitney U Test,P>0.05) and active (Chi-square Test，P>0.05) behaviours, but a significant difference between transport space allowances on the piglets' lying behaviour (Mann-Whitney U Test,P<0.05); (3) A significant effect of transport duration on piglets' standing, lying (Friedman Test，P<0.001) and active (Chi-square Test,P<0.01) behaviour; (4) No significant difference between two transport space allowances on pig skin damage (Mann-Whitney U Test,P>0.05) or weight change (t Test,P>0.05). The results indicate that under certain transport conditions the piglets' behavior may be affected by transport duration, but not by transport space allowance in this experiment. It is possible that pigs' sternum area is not the lowest limit of transport space allowance.