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Title:Effect of floor space in the nursery and grow-finish periods on the growth performance of pigs
Author(s):Shull, Caleb M.
Advisor(s):Ellis, Michael
Department / Program:Animal Sciences
Discipline:Animal Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):floor space
growth performance
Abstract:Two studies were carried out over two 4-week periods (week 6 to 10 post-weaning in Study 1 and week 12 to 16 post-weaning in Study 2) to determine the effects of floor space in the nursery and grow-finish periods on the growth performance of pigs. In both studies, subsequent growth performance at an equal floor space across treatment levels was also evaluated over a 2-week period immediately following the floor space evaluation period. Both studies were conducted as randomized complete block designs (blocking factor = day of start of test) with 5 floor space treatment levels (0.21, 0.27, 0.33, 0.39, and 0.44 m2/pig in Study 1; 0.35, 0.45, 0.54, 0.64, and 0.73 m2/pig in Study 2). Treatment levels were selected to cover the range likely to be used under commercial conditions and were calculated to provide the same k values in both studies (i.e., 0.019, 0.025, 0.030, 0.035, and 0.041 m2/BW0.67). The estimated weight at the midpoint of the floor space evaluation period (end of week 8 in Study 1 and week 14 in Study 2) was used to calculate the respective k values. All adjustment gates were moved to the back of the pens during the subsequent period, resulting in floor spaces of 0.53 and 0.73 m2/pig in Study 1 and 2, respectively. Study 1 consisted of 15 replicates with 40 pigs per pen for a total of 3,000 pigs. Pens of pigs in Study 1 were reduced to groups of 29 pigs and re-allotted to Study 2 for a total of 2,175 pigs in 15 replicates. During the floor space evaluation periods in Study 1 and 2, ADG was decreased (P < 0.001) by 17.9 and 42.1% and ADFI was decreased (P < 0.001) by 14.4 and 28.6%, respectively, from the highest to lowest floor space treatment levels. Feed efficiency was lower (P < 0.001) for the two lowest floor space treatment levels than the other three treatment levels in both studies. However, potential differences in environmental temperature between floor space treatment levels due to limited access to water misters and reduced air movement could have influenced the results. During the subsequent periods, feed efficiency generally increased (P < 0.001) as previous floor space decreased in both studies. Morbidity and mortality levels differed (P < 0.01) between treatment levels during the floor space evaluation period in Study 1, but there was no clear pattern in the treatment means. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in morbidity and mortality levels in the subsequent period of Study 2 or either period in Study 1. The results of these studies suggest that decreasing floor space can cause significant reductions in ADG, ADFI, and feed efficiency; however, feed efficiency can be improved by providing increased floor space subsequent to a floor space restriction.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Caleb M. Shull
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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