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Supplemental feeding of cervid species such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; deer) is now a common management practice in the United States. Supplemental feeding can be costly and more expensive when supplements are consumed by non-target species such as wild pigs (Sus scrofa; pigs). From May 13 to June 17, 2015, we evaluated the effects of using ground blueberry juniper (Juniperus ashei) or cottonseed (Gossypium spp.) hulls as a roughage ingredient in a supplemental deer pellet to deter pig consumption at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in San Angelo, Texas, USA. We analyzed dry matter intake, growth performance, in vitro digestibility and fermentation, and blood serum chemistry of pigs using a 2 × 2 factorial study design that included 3 feeding periods. Pigs were assigned to 1 of 4 supplement diets (n = 5 pigs/supplement) or to a commercially available swine diet (BASAL; n = 4 pigs). Animals assigned to supplement diets were also offered BASAL based on percentage of body weight (BW) during each period. Supplement diets differed by roughage source and percentage of roughage: cottonseed hulls 20%, cottonseed hulls 40%, blueberry juniper 20%, or blueberry juniper 40%. During each period, the amount of supplement and BASAL diet offered to animals assigned to a supplement was fed as a percentage of BW; period 1 (day 0 to 17) = 5% supplement diet and 5% BASAL diet, period 2 (day 18 to 26) = 5% supplement diet and 2% BASAL diet, period 3 (day 27 to 34) = 5% supplement diet and 5% BASAL diet. Animals assigned to only BASAL were offered the same amount of feed as a percent of BW as supplement animals during each period. We observed a roughage × period interaction (P = 0.03) for supplement dry matter intake g/day and a roughage × period interaction (P < 0.09) for total dry matter intake as a percentage of BW. No differences were observed within period. No other variables had percent roughage x period differences. Ground blueberry juniper was indigestible by pigs; the in vitro digestibility of dry matter and gross energy was < 1%. Greater blood serum alanine aminotransferase (P= 0.07) in pigs consuming experimental supplement diets suggested the possibility of liver damage. Our findings suggest that there does not appear to be a benefit of using ground juniper as a roughage source to reduce consumption of supplemental deer feed by pigs.
Glasscock, Jessica L.; Whitney, Travis R.; Hewitt, David G.; Cooper, Susan M.; Bryant, Fred C.; and Toenjes, Christina M.
"Intake of Supplemental Deer Pellets Containing Ground Blueberry Juniper by Wild Pigs,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 14
, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol14/iss2/13