Effect of mannan oligosaccharides (Bio-Mos) and outdoor access housing on pig growth, feed efficiency and carcass composition

B. A. Wenner, H. N. Zerby, Dustin Dee Boler, W. A. Gebreyes, S. J. Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study was conducted as a 3× 2 factorial experiment in 7 pen replications conducted using progeny (n = 360) of successive farrowings of 1 Landrace breeding female population. Grower-finisher dietary treatments included the addition of Bio-Mos (BM; at 0.2, 0.1 and 0.05% inclusion rates for phase 1 (30.2 to 63.5 kg), 2 (63.5 to 90.5 kg), and 3 (90.5 to 113.6 kg), respectively), the inclusion of a subtherapeutic antibiotic (AB; tetracycline; at 0.0055% inclusion rate in all dietary phases) and a no additive control (CON) diet. Housing systems were a conventional, indoor (IN) facility providing 1.0 m2/pig solid concrete and 0.3 m2/pig slatted floor with 12 pigs per pen and an outdoor access (OUT) system providing 1.1 m2/pig indoor, bedded concrete, and 1.9 m2/pig outdoor solid concrete with 6 pigs per pen. Housing systems analyses acknowledge confounding of space with number of pigs per pen. Daily growth rate (ADG), feed intake (ADFI), feed conversion (G:F), ultrasonic carcass composition, blood hematocrit (1 group), and observed illnesses were measured. Dietary × housing treatment interactions were not observed. Pigs reared in OUT had greater ADFI (0.1 kg/d; P = 0.01) resulting in greater ADG (0.04 kg/d; P < 0.0005) and required fewer days to reach a standard 113.6 kg endpoint (4.0d; P < 0.0005) but had reduced (poorer) G:F (0.01 kg gain/kg feed; P = 0.05) when compared to IN. Pigs fed BM and CON diets had greater ADG (0.02 kg/d; P < 0.05) and required 3 fewer days to 113.6 kg (P < 0.05) when compared with pigs fed AB. Carcass composition measures were not different across dietary or housing treatments. Hematocrit was 2 units greater (P < 0.05) at the end of the trial (d 84) for OUT housed pigs but not different at the start, d 28, or d 56 of the trial. In the present study, the addition of a subtherapeutic antibiotic in swine finisher diets did not improve pig growth, efficiency, or health whereas the addition of BM did not increase growth performance compared to the CON diet in both housing systems, a finding suggesting the potential for improved gut health and or improved appetite in pigs not fed an antibiotic. Whereas pigs reared OUT had greater growth rate and a more desirable hematocrit level, the observed differences may be attributed to stocking density, number of pigs per pen, or outdoor access, effects that are not able to be fully described under the experimental design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4936-4944
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotics
  • Feed efficiency
  • Housing
  • Mannan oligosaccharides
  • Pig growth
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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