Effect of removal and remixing of lightweight pigs on performance to slaughter weights.

Haskell Agricultural Laboratory, University of Nebraska, Concord 68728, USA.
Journal of Animal Science (Impact Factor: 2.09). 05/2002; 80(5):1166-72.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of lightweight pig removal and remixing on performance to slaughter. Experiment 1 was a growing-finishing trial utilizing a total of 900 pigs (26.2+/-0.1 kg initial weight) that were sorted and remixed at a mean replicate BW of 72 kg. Experiment 2 was a wean-to-finish trial (17 d mean wean age; 4.8 kg +/- 0.1 BW) utilizing 225 barrows with sorting and remixing occurring 3 wk after weaning. Treatments were 15 pigs/ pen from initial weight to slaughter (15S), 20 pigs/pen from initial weight to time of sort and remix and then reduced to 15 pigs/pen (20/15), and 15 pigs/pen from time of sort and remix to slaughter comprised of the five lightest pigs from each of three 20/15 pens per replicate (15M). Space allocation was 0.56 m2/pig from 26 to 70 kg and 0.74 m2/pig thereafter in Exp. 1. In Exp. 2, pen size was fixed at 2.44 x 4.27 m. In Exp. 1, there was no effect (P > 0.20) of treatment on performance prior to 70 kg. Least squares means for ADG from time of sort and remix to first pig removal from a pen for slaughter at 113 kg were 0.93, 0.87, and 0.91 kg/d for the 20/15, 15M, and 15S treatments, respectively (P < 0.05). When comparing the population represented by the 20/15 + 15M treatments vs the 15S population, there was no difference (P > 0.20) in ADG, ADFI, feed conversion, or carcass lean content. In Exp. 2, pigs in the 20/15 treatment grew slower (P < 0.05) than 15S pigs for the first 21 d (0.20 vs 0.22 kg/d, respectively) with a lower ADFI (P = 0.06) and no difference in feed conversion. When comparing the population represented by the 20/15 + 15M treatments vs the 15S population after sorting and remixing, there was no effect (P > 0.15) of experimental treatments on ADG, ADFI, feed conversion efficiency, carcass lean content, or daily lean gain. These results suggest that removal of lightweight pigs and remixing of the removed pigs into pens of similar-weight pigs is ineffective in improving the overall performance of a population of pigs during the postweaning period.


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