Interaction of swine nursery and grow-finish space allocations on performance

M. C. Brumm, M. Ellis, L. J. Johnston, D. W. Rozeboom, D. R. Zimmerman, R. D. Arthur, S. Carter, R. K. Christenson, L. Christianson, J. D. Harmon, R. H. Hines, D. D. Jones, V. D. Leibbrandt, G. W. Libal, V. B. Mayrose, S. J. Moeller, B. Richert

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45 Scopus citations


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the possible interaction of nursery space allocations and grow-finish space allocations in swine. In Exp. 1, crowding was achieved by varying the number of pigs per pen. During the nursery phase, decreasing the space allocation (0.16 m2/pig vs 0.25 m2/pig; 8 and 12 pens per treatment, respectively) by increasing the number of pigs per pen (18 vs 12) resulted in a decrease in daily feed intake (0.609 vs 0.683 kg/d; P < 0.001) and daily gain (0.364 vs 0.408 kg/d; P < 0.001). Pigs were mixed within nursery treatment groups and reassigned to grow-finish pens (6 pens per treatment) at the end of the 35-d nursery period providing either 0.56 m2/pig (14 pigs/pen) or 0.78 m2/pig (10 pigs/pen). Crowding during the grow-finish phase decreased daily feed intake (P < 0.003) and daily gain (P < 0.001). In Exp. 2, space allocations of 0.16 m2/pig vs 0.23 m2/pig during the nursery phase (24 pens per treatment) resulted in a decrease in daily feed intake (0.612 vs 0.654 kg/d; P < 0.005) and daily gain (0.403 vs 0.430 kg/d; P < 0.001). Pigs remained in the same (social) groups when moved to the grow-finish phase. Unlike Exp. 1, there was no effect of crowding during the grow-finish phase (0.60 m2/pig vs 0.74 m2/pig) on daily feed intake or daily gain. The difference in results between experiments suggests that the response to crowding during the grow-finish phase may depend in part on whether pigs are mixed and sorted following movement from the nursery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1967-1972
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001


  • Mixing
  • Pigs
  • Spacing


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