Effect of the number of pigs per pen on performance of growing finishing swine

Moreira, I.; Costa, P.M.A.; Cardoso, R.M.; Gomes, S.T.; Pereira, J.A.A.; Mello, H.V.D.

Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Zootecnia 14(4): 407-420


Accession: 005277244

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Five hundred twenty eight growing pigs (33-58 kg), and 432 finishing pigs (58-87 kg), were utilized in a 4 .times. 2 .times. 2 .times. 2 factorial experiment, without replications, i.e.; four treatments (12, 15, 18 and 21 pigs/7.1 m2 of available floor space-AFS in the growing phase and 09, 12, 15 and 18 pigs/7.1 m2 of AFS in the finishing phase), two sexes (barrows-B and gilts-G), two pen shapes (I = 1.55 .times. 4.84 m, and II-3.10 7x 2.42 m, less 0.40 m2 of feeder space), in two seasons (Fall and Spring), when the average temperatures were 20.0 and 21.2C. As the number of pigs/pen increased, the average final pig weight and the gain/feed decreased linearly (90.4, 88.7, 85.9 and 81.2 kg/pig, and 294, 290, 285 and 273 g of gain/kg of feed intake), while the average daily gain and the average daily feed (ADF) decreased quadratically (755, 743, 712 and 634 g/day, and 2.58, 2.55, 2.50 and 2.32 kg/day). Increasing the number of pigs/pen the ADF decreased linearly in the Fall period, while in the Spring period the ADF tended only to decrease. The number of pigs/pen did not affect the gastric ulcers index, however, in the finishing phase the incidence of ulcers was more severe in the Fall. The carcass traits were not affected by the number of pigs/pen, while the pigs in the pen shape I had heavier hams than those in pen shape II. Cannibalism, diseases, feet and legs problems were not observed among treatments. Production costs were lower for the combinations of 12-09 and 15-12 pigs/pen. The performance and the economic data showed that the maximum number of pigs/7.1 m2 of AFS would be 15 in the growing phase and 12 in the finishing phase.