The effect of birth weight and feeding of supplemental milk replacer to piglets during lactation on preweaning and postweaning growth performance and carcass characteristics

B. F. Wolter, M. Ellis, B. P. Corrigan, J. M. DeDecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of piglet birth weight and liquid milk replacer supplementation of piglets during lactation on growth performance to slaughter weight was evaluated in a study carried out with 32 sows (PIC C-22) and their piglets (n = 384; progeny of PIC Line 337 sires). A randomized block design with a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments was used. Treatments were birth weight (Heavy vs Light) and liquid milk replacer (Supplemented vs Unsupplemented). The study was divided into two periods. At the start of period 1 (birth to weaning), pigs were assigned to either Heavy or Light (1.8 [SD = 0.09] vs 1.3 kg [SD = 0.07] BW, respectively, P < 0.001) litters of 12 pigs and half of the litters were given ad libitum access to supplemental milk replacer from d 3 of lactation to weaning (21 ± 0.2 d). In period 2 (weaning to 110 kg BW), a total of 308 pigs were randomly selected from within previous treatment and sex subclasses and placed in pens of four pigs. Pigs were given ad libitum access to diets that met or exceeded nutrient requirements. Pigs in heavy litters were heavier at weaning (6.6 vs 5.7 kg BW; SE = 0.14; P < 0.001) and tended to have more pigs weaned (11.4 vs 10.9 pigs/litter; SE = 0.21; P = 0.10). After weaning, pigs in the Heavy litter had greater ADG (851 vs 796 g; SE = 6.7; P < 0.001) and ADFI (1,866 vs 1,783 g; SE = 17.6; P < 0.001), similar gain:feed (0.46 vs 0.45; SE = 0.003; P > 0.05), and required seven fewer days (P < 0.001) to reach slaughter weight compared to pigs in the Light treatment. Feeding supplemental milk replacer during lactation produced heavier pigs at weaning (6.6 vs 5.7 kg BW; SE = 0.14; P < 0.001) and tended to increase the number of pigs weaned (11.4 vs 10.9 pigs/ litter; SE = 0.21; P = 0.10) but had no effect (P > 0.05) on growth performance from weaning to slaughter. However, pigs fed milk replacer required three fewer days (P < 0.01) to reach 110 kg BW. Sow feed intake and BW loss during lactation were not affected (P > 0.05) by either birth weight or milk replacer treatment. In conclusion, birth weight has a substantially greater impact on pig growth performance after weaning than increasing nutrient intake during lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2002

Keywords

  • Birth Weight
  • Growth
  • Milk Substitutes
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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