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Combination of genetic background and birth weight important for performance of growing and finishing pigs

Gepubliceerd op
29 december 2014

Pigs with a high genetic index and a high birth weight (HH pigs) perform better during the weaning and growing and finishing period than pigs with a low genetic index and a low birth weight (LL pigs). It might be interesting to feed LL growing and finishing pigs a less luxury diet than HH growing and finishing pigs. This was shown in research by Wageningen UR Livestock Research at Swine Innovation Centre Sterksel . The project was commissioned by the Product Board for Livestock and Meat.

Trial

It was investigated whether the performance and financial results of growing and finishing pigs (Tempo Boar x (Dutch Landrace x Dutch Large White) sow) can be improved by feeding HH pigs (high genetic index and birth weight higher than 1,350 gram) a more luxury diet and LL pigs (low genetic index and birth weight lower than 1,350 gram) a less luxury diet. Because in practice LL pigs often are fed a more luxury diet, this treatment was also included in the trial. Luxury diet means that the level of ileal amino acids in the grower diet and finisher diet is 10% higher than in the control diet. Less luxury diet means that the level of ileal amino acids in the starter diet, the grower diet and the finisher diet is 5% lower than in the control diet. Genetic background was expressed as the genetic index for daily gain, feed intake and lean meat percentage of the growing and finishing pigs.

HH versus LL pigs

  • HH piglets and growing and finishing pigs eat more and grow faster than LL piglets and growing and finishing pigs.
  • Yield per delivered piglet was € 3.40 higher in HH piglets than in LL piglets. The gross margin per delivered growing and finishing pig was € 2.50 higher in HH than in LL growing and finishing pigs. The difference in gross margin per growing and finishing pig per year is even higher because HH growing and finishing pigs were delivered 5.5 days earlier to the slaughter house.

Effect amino acid level in the diets

  • Providing a 10% higher level of amino acids in the grower diet (7.9 versus 7.2 g ileal digestible lysine per EW) and finisher diet  (7.5 versus 6.9 g ileal digestible lysine per EW) does not improve the performance of both HH and growing and finishing pigs. The gross margin per delivered HH or LL growing and finishing pig is about € 2.00 lower at the diets with 10% extra amino acids because of higher feed costs.
  • The performance of the LL growing and finishing pigs is not impaired by feeding them diets with 5% lower levels of amino acids. Only during the starter phase feed conversion is worse in the LL boars that were fed 5% less amino acids. The feed costs are € 0.70 per delivered growing and finishing pig lower when providing diets with 5% less amino acids.
  • It might be interesting to feed LL growing and finishing pigs a less luxury diet than HH growing and finishing pigs.