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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005  701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18428)
Authors:   R.O. Myer and R.A. Bucklin
Keywords:   Pigs, housing, season, outdoors

An eight year study was conducted to determine the effects of three different rearing environments on growth performance of growing and finishing pigs (from 28 to 107 kg avg. body wt.) reared during the summer or winter in the southeastern USA (31 N latitude). The three rearing environments were 1) concrete-floored pens in a semi-confinement building or outside dirt lot pens with minimal shelter that 2) have (old) or 3) have not (new) been occupied previously by pigs. Two trials were conducted each year (summer and winter) and each involved 36 crossbred pigs. All pigs were routinely dewormed. Overall, pigs reared during the summer on average grew 3% slower (0.83 vs. 0.86 kg/d; P<0.001) but required 3% less feed (3.32 vs. 3.41 kg; P<0.001) per kg of weight gain than pigs raised during the winter. Rearing environment influenced average daily gain (P<0.001; 0.82, 0.85, and 0.86 kg/d for old, new and concrete pens, respectively) and feed/gain (P<0.001; 3.48, 3.35, and 3.26); a pen x season interaction (P<0.01) was noted for feed/gain. Average backfat thickness was influenced by rearing environment (P = 0.01) and somewhat by season (P = 0.08). Growing-finishing pigs can be effectively reared in outside dirt lots under the environmental conditions of the southeastern USA, in particular if the lots are periodically rotated to new ground.

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