Effects of feeder design on growth performance and carcass characteristics of finishing pigs

The use of a wet-dry feeder improves pig performance until slaughter, without improving carcass performance.
Tuesday 6 October 2009 (8 years 9 months 17 days ago)
The objective of this study was to determine whether use of a wet-dry feeder would improve performance and profitability of finishing pigs housed in commercial conditions.

Two experiments were conducted to compare the effects of feeder design (conventional dry vs. wet-dry feeder) on finishing pig performance. In Exp. 1, 1,186 pigs were used in a 69-d experiment. Pigs were weighed (avg. 32.1 kg) and allotted to 1 of 2 feeder types in a completely randomized design. There were 22 pens per feeder type with 26 to 28 pigs per pen. All pigs were fed the same dietary sequence in 4 phases (d 0 to 10, 10 to 28, 28 to 50, and 50 to 69). Overall (d 0 to 69), pigs using the wet-dry feeder had greater (P < 0.001) ADG, ADFI, and final weight compared with pigs using the conventional dry feeder.

In Exp. 2, 1,236 pigs were used in a 104-d experiment. Pigs were weighed (avg. 28.7 kg) and allotted to 1 of the 2 feeder types in a completely randomized design. There were 23 pens per feeder type with 25 to 28 pigs per pen. All pigs were fed the same feed budget (diet 1 = 26.8 kg/pig, diet 2 = 39.9 kg/pig, diet 3 = 54.9 kg/pig, and diet 4 = 58.9 kg/pig). On d 84, the 3 largest pigs per pen were marketed. Afterward, all remaining pigs were fed a fifth dietary phase containing ractopamine hydrochloride until d 104. Carcass measurements were obtained after pigs were transported to a commercial slaughterhouse on d 104. Overall (d 0 to 104), pigs using the wet-dry feeder had greater (P < 0.001) ADG, ADFI, and final weight compared with those using the conventional dry feeder. However, pigs using the wet-dry feeder had poorer F/G and increased feed cost per pig (P < 0.002) than pigs using the conventional dry feeder. Carcass yield, fat free lean index, premium per pig was increased, whereas average backfat depth was decreased (P < 0.03) for pigs using the conventional dry feeder compared with pigs using the wet-dry feeder. The combination of these effects resulted in a numerically lower net income per pig for pigs fed with the wet-dry feeder.

These experiments demonstrate that growth performance of finishing pigs was improved with a wet-dry feeder compared with a conventional dry feeder

JR Bergstrom, MD Tokach, SS Dritz, JL Nelssen, JM DeRouchey and RD Goodband, 2008, Swine Day, Kansas State University, 196

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