Growth performance and digestive and metabolic responses of gilts penned individually or in groups of four

R. S. Gomez, A. J. Lewis, P. S. Miller, H. Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to identify factors involved in the growth retardation of pigs housed in groups. In each experiment, 60 gilts were allotted to two treatments in a randomized complete block design. Twelve gilts were penned individually with one feeder, one waterer, and a space allowance of 1.5 m2 per pen. Forty-eight gilts were allocated to 12 groups of four and penned together with four feeders, four waterers, and a space allowance of 6 m2 per pen. In Exp. 1 there were 60 growing gilts (initial and final BW of 17.9 and 50.8 kg, respectively), and in Exp. 2 there were 60 finishing gilts (initial and final BW of 46.0 and 118.3 kg, respectively). In Exp. 1 there was a trend (P < .10) toward greater final BW, ADG, and average backfat thickness of gilts penned individually. Apparent digestibilities of DM, CP, and energy tended (P < .10) to be greater and plasma NEFA concentrations were lower (P < .05) for gilts penned individually. Plasma concentrations of urea and glucose were similar between treatments. In Exp. 2, ADG was greater (P < .05) and there was a trend (P < .10) for greater final weight, ADFI, loin weight, and primal cut weight of gilts penned individually. Apparent digestibilities of DM, CP, and energy and the plasma concentrations of urea, glucose, and NEFA were similar in both treatments. In summary, growing gilts penned four per group had reductions in daily gain, backfat thickness, and apparent digestibilities of DM, CP, and energy and increases in plasma NEFA concentrations. Finishing gilts penned four per group had reductions in daily gain and feed intake with no changes in apparent nutrient digestibilities or plasma metabolite concentrations compared to individually penned gilts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Keywords

  • Digestibility
  • Gilts
  • Group Size
  • Growth
  • Metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Growth performance and digestive and metabolic responses of gilts penned individually or in groups of four'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this