Alternative light colors in suckling piglet creep area: preference and validation tests in swine maternity
ABSTRACT: We performed a two-stage experiment: a preference and a validation test in swine litters, to determine whether suckling piglets preferred alternative light colors in their creep area over white light; we also determined whether the preferred color affected piglet behavior. In the first stage, five trials of two consecutive days were performed, each at 21-day intervals. In each trial, 40 piglets, from three to five days old, from four F1 sows (Large White x Landrace), were distributed in four treatments, in a paired scheme, receiving the following treatments: Treatment GR: white light vs. green light ; Treatment BL: white light vs. blue light; Treatment YE: yellow light vs. white light; Treatment RD: white light vs. red light. For the validation test, three consecutive lots of eight F1 sows (Large White x Landrace) and their corresponding maternity were used, remaining from birth under the influence of treatments T_Gr and T_Wh, totaling three replicates. T_Gr corresponded to four creep areaswith green LED light and T_Wh to four nurseries with white LED light. The piglets showed a significant preference only for white over blue. Among the alternative colors, piglets significantly preferred green. In the validation stage, there was no significant effect of colors on the mean percentage of permanence of the piglets inside the creep areas over all evaluated periods. Piglets between two and five days of age prefer green lighting;however,in the creep area, the light color used did not influence piglet behavior.