Water palatability, a matter of taste
Houben, Manon A M
van Nes, Arie
Tobias, Tijs J
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Abstract Background The aim of this trial was to test whether the temperature or additives of the drinking water affected water uptake by nursery pigs. We designed a repeated 4 × 4 Latin Square to control for confounding factors such as; carry-over effects, learning of a preferential taste, daily variation within groups and regular increase of uptake over a day due to diurnal drinking patterns. Water types tested were control water (A); warm water (33 °C); (B); organic acid additive 1 (C), and organic acid additive 2 (D). Results The piglets drank more of water C than of control water (A). The uptake of water D was marginally higher than control water (A). There was no difference in uptake of water B and A. However, a learning effect was observed resulting in increasing amounts of water type C and D taken up over the four consecutive days. A carry-over was not fully prevented as pigs always consumed less during the second hour and water D was consumed less during the fourth and final hourly observation period each day. Conclusions The experimental design can be used in future trials for evaluation of the water uptake and preference of water additives for pigs. The tested commercial organic acid additives did not adversely affect water uptake of drinking water, water uptake increased instead.