Catalog Home Page

Post-weaning and whole-of-life performance of pigs is determined by live weight at weaning and the complexity of the diet fed after weaning

Collins, C.L., Pluske, J.R., Morrison, R.S., McDonald, T.N., Smits, R.J., Henman, D.J., Stensland, I. and Dunshea, F.R. (2017) Post-weaning and whole-of-life performance of pigs is determined by live weight at weaning and the complexity of the diet fed after weaning. Animal Nutrition, 3 (4). pp. 372-379.

Free to read: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aninu.2017.01.001
*No subscription required

Abstract

The production performance and financial outcomes associated with weaner diet complexity for pigs of different weight classes at weaning were examined in this experiment. A total of 720 weaner pigs (360 entire males and 360 females) were selected at weaning (27 ± 3 d) and allocated to pens of 10 based on individual weaning weight (light weaning weight: pigs below 6.5 kg; medium weaning weight: 6.5 to 8 kg; heavy weaning weight: above 8.5 kg). Pens were then allocated in a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments with the respective factors being weaning weight (heavy, medium and light; H, M and L, respectively), weaner diet complexity (high complexity/cost, HC; low complexity/cost, LC), and gender (male and female). Common diets were fed to both treatment groups during the final 4 weeks of the weaner period (a period of 39 days). In the first 6 d after weaning, pigs offered the HC diets gained weight faster and used feed more efficiently than those offered the LC diets (P = 0.031). Pigs fed a HC diet after weaning tended to be heavier at the sale live weight of 123 d of age compared with pigs fed the LC diet (P = 0.056). There were no other main effects of the feeding program on growth performance through to slaughter. Weaning weight had a profound influence on lifetime growth performance and weight at 123 d of age, with H pigs at weaning increasing their weight advantage over the M and L pigs (101.3, 97.1, 89.6 kg respectively, P < 0.001). Cost-benefit analyses suggested there was a minimal benefit in terms of cost per unit live weight gain over lifetime when pigs were offered a HC feeding program to L, with a lower feed cost/kg gain. The results from this investigation confirm the impact of weaning weight on lifetime growth performance, and suggest that a HC feeding program should be focused on L weaner pigs (i.e., weaning weight less than 6.5 kg at 27 d of age) in order to maximise financial returns.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2017, Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37896
Item Control Page Item Control Page