Evaluating the removal of pigs from a group and subsequent floor space allowance on the growth performance of heavy-weight finishing pigs.

Journal of animal science

PubMedID: 27898847

Flohr JR, Tokach MD, Derouchey JM, Woodworth JC, Goodband RD, Dritz SS. Evaluating the removal of pigs from a group and subsequent floor space allowance on the growth performance of heavy-weight finishing pigs. J Anim Sci. 2016;94(10):4388-4400.
A total of 1,092 finishing pigs (initially 36. 3 kg) were used in a 117-d study to evaluate the impact of initial floor space allowance and removal strategy on the growth of pigs up to 140 kg BW. There were 4 experimental treatments with 14 pens per treatment. The first treatment provided 0. 91 m per pig (15 pigs/pen). The other 3 treatments initially provided 0. 65 m per pig (21 pigs/pen) with 3 different removal strategies. The second treatment (2:2:2) removed the 2 heaviest pigs from pens on d 64, 76, and 95 when floor space allowance was predicted to be limiting. Treatment 3 (2:4) removed the 2 heaviest pigs on d 76 and the 4 heaviest pigs on d 105. Treatment 4 (6) removed the heaviest 6 pigs on d 105. All pigs remaining in pens after removals were fed to d 117. Overall (d 0 to 117), pigs initially provided 0. 91 m of floor space had increased ( < 0. 05) ADG compared to pigs in pens on the 2:4 or 6 removal strategy, but ADG was not different compared with pigs on the 2:2:2 removal strategy. Total BW gain per pen was greater ( < 0. 05) for pens initially stocked at 0. 65 m compared to pens initially stocked at 0. 91 m. Feed usage per pen was less ( < 0. 05) for pens initially stocked at 0. 91 m compared to pens initially providing 0. 65 m of floor space and on removal strategies; however, feed usage per pig was greater ( < 0. 05) for pigs initially stocked at 0. 91 m compared to pigs initially stocked at 0. 65 m and on removal strategies. Feed usage, on a pig or pen basis, was less ( < 0. 05) for pigs on the 2:2:2 removal strategy compared to pigs on the 2:4 or the 6 removal strategy. Income over feed and facility cost (IOFFC) was less ( < 0. 05) for pigs initially provided 0. 91 m compared to pigs initially provided 0. 65 m and on removal strategies. Also, IOFFC was less ( < 0. 05) for pigs on the 2:2:2 compared to the 2:4 and 6 removal strategies. In conclusion, increasing the floor space allowance or the time points at which pigs are removed from the pen improved the growth of pigs remaining in the pen; however, IOFFC may be reduced because fewer pigs are marketed from each pen (pigs stocked at 0. 91 m throughout the study) or from reducing total weight produced (2:2:2 removal strategy).