Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Animal Science


Apple, Jason

Committee Member/Reader

Kegley, Beth

Committee Member/Second Reader

Rosenkrans, Charles


A relationship between teat order and feed consumption has been assumed in pigs, but no study has looked at this exact relationship. Pigs were observed shortly after birth to be in either a cranial, middle, or caudal teat positon. Growth performance data and active and total plasma ghrelin concentrations were analyzed at birth, weaning, and at the end of the nursery stage of production to see if a relationship with teat order was present. Further growth performance data were analyzed during different phases of the nursery stage. Overall, no effect of teat order was found on average daily gain, average daily feed intake, gain to feed ratio, or body weight among pigs from each section of the udder. Differences did occur during certain stages of nursery, which can be of economic importance to producers. No difference was seen in active or total ghrelin levels or the active to total ghrelin ratio in relation to teat order, although there were differences in active and total ghrelin concentrations among the sampling days. Further study should be carried out to investigate what factors would contribute to this data contradicting previous inferences about the relationship of teat order and feed consumption in pigs.


pigs, teat order, feed consumption, nursery stage, ghrelin


Special thanks to the Honors College and Bumpers College for the funding of this research.