Effect of restricted postweaning growth resulting from reduced floor and feeder-trough space on pig growth performance to slaughter weight in a wean-to-finish production system

B. F. Wolter, M. Ellis, B. P. Corrigan, J. M. DeDecker, S. E. Curtis, E. N. Parr, D. M. Webel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effect of reduced pig growth rate postweaning as a result of restricted floor space and feeder trough space on subsequent growth to slaughter was investigated in a wean-to-finish system. Crossbred pigs (n = 1,728) were used in a randomized block design with a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments: 1) floor space (high [0.630 m2/pig] vs. low floor space [0.315 m2/pig]), 2) feeder trough space (unrestricted [4 cm/pig] vs. restricted feeder trough space [2 cm/pig]), and 3) period of imposing floor- and feeder-trough-space treatments (12 vs. 14 wk postweaning). Growth performance was measured from weaning (5.5 ± 0.01 kg of BW; 17 d of age) to slaughter (the end of wk 25 postweaning). From the end of the treatment period to the end of wk 25, pigs on all treatments had the same floor and feeder trough space. Pigs with low floor space had lower (P < 0.01) ADG, ADFI, and gain:feed ratio than those with high floor space, and were therefore lighter (P < 0.05) at the end of the postweaning treatment period. Pigs given the restricted feeder trough space had lower (P < 0.05) ADFI, similar (P > 0.05) ADG, and higher (P < 0.01) gain:feed ratio than those with unrestricted feeder trough space during the treatment period. Pigs in the 14-wk treatment period had higher (P < 0.01) ADG and ADFI, but lower gain:feed than those in the 12-wk treatment during that period. In the subsequent period, from the end of treatment to wk 25, there was an interaction (P < 0.05) between floor space and treatment period; the difference in ADG and gain:feed for pigs on low vs. high floor space was greater for the 14-wk than the 12-wk treatment period. However, low-floor-space pigs tended (P = 0.06) to be lighter than high-floor-space pigs at the end of wk 25 postweaning. Neither feeder trough space nor treatment period affected pig growth performance during the period from the end of treatment to wk 25. Carcass backfat and longissimus depths at the end of wk 25 were not influenced (P > 0.05) by treatment. In summary, pigs with restricted growth due to low floor space until either 12 or 14 wk postweaning had increased growth and feed efficiency in the subsequent period to wk 25 postweaning, with only a slight effect on BW and no effect on carcass measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-842
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2003

Keywords

  • Feed Troughs
  • Floor Space
  • Growth
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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