Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE 61 (1985), pp. 9-17. Copyright © 1985 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Three experiments were conducted to determine the effect of receiving diets containing alfalfa meal and certain feed additives on performance of comingled feeder pigs transported 900 to 1,100 kin. In Exp. 1, the inclusion of 9.4% dehydrated alfalfa meal in receiving diets for 2 wk resulted in no difference (P>.I) in gain or feed conversion from purchase to market compared with pigs fed a basal corn-soybean meal (CS) diet or a diet containing 20% ground whole oats (O). In Exp. 2, pigs fed receiving diets containing 10% dehydrated alfalfa meal had no improvement (P>. 1) in gain (.60 vs .61 kg/d) or conversion (3.25 vs 3.17) compared with CS-fed pigs. In Exp. 3, pigs fed a receiving diet for 2 wk containing 10% mid-bloom alfalfa ate more (P<.002) feed daily for 2 wk (.82 vs .76 kg) and overall (P<.04; 1.92 vs 1.85 kg) and had an improved (P<.03) daily gain from purchase to market (.61 vs .59 kg) compared with CS-fed pigs. In Exp. 2, pigs fed diets containing 44 mg/kg tylosin (T) gained similar to pigs fed no additive (O) and slower (P<.01) than pigs fed 110 mg/kg chlortetracycline (CTC; .59, .60 and .63 kg/d), with no significant differences in feed to gain conversion (3.12, 3.23 and 3.18). Pigs fed CTC gained faster overall (P<.04) than did pigs fed 55 mg/kg bacitracin methylene disalycilate (BMD) or the unsupplemented control diet in Exp. 3 (.62, .59 and .58 kg/d), while CTC- and BMD-fed pigs improved (P<.02) in feed conversion (3.11, 3.11 and 3.26). In each experiment, the inclusion of alfalfa meal resulted in a reduction in scours for several days immediately post-arrival. Pigs fed CTC had less scours from d 8 to 14 post-arrival than did the control, T- and BMD-fed pigs. There was no difference (P>.I) in pig death loss in any of the experiments due to experimental treatments.