EFFECT OF DIET COMPLEXITY AND PHASE FEEDING ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE, DIARRHEA INCIDENCE AND DIET ECONOMICS IN NURSERY PIGS

Lenitta A. Lopez, Rommel C. Sulabo

Abstract


Thirty-two newly-weaned pigs (8.89 ± 0.73 kg; PIC L337×C24) were used to determine the interactive effects of diet complexity and phase feeding on growth performance, diarrhea incidence, and economic return in nursery pigs. Pigs were randomly allotted to 1 of 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement using a randomized complete block design. Treatment factors were nursery diet complexity (Complex vs. Semi-complex) and nursery phase feeding program (2- vs. 3-phase). Each treatment had 8 replications. Results showed no significant interaction for all growth and diarrhea parameters measured. Overall (d 0 to 42), pigs fed the complex diets had greater (P=0.04) ADFI compared with those fed semi-complex diets; however, no significant differences were observed for ADG, G:F, final BW and diarrhea incidence. Increasing the number of phases in the nursery feeding program did not have any significant effect on growth performance and diarrhea incidence. Overall, the most cost-effective feeding program was the 3-phase, semi-complex treatment, which had the least feed cost per kg gain and greatest margin over feed cost among all the treatments. In conclusion, reducing the complexity of the nursery diets and employing a 3-phase nursery feeding program may be the most cost-effective strategy in maximizing economic return.

Keywords


diet complexity, phase feeding, growth performance, nursery pigs

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