Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 2000


Published in 2000 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Rodger Johnson, Professor, Department of Animal Science. Prepared by the staff in Animal Science and cooperating Departments for use in Extension, Teaching and Research programs. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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An experiment consisting of three trials was conducted to determine the effect of wean-to-finish management systems on pig performance. Treatments consisted of: 1) wean-to-finish single stock (WF) at 7.5 ft2/pig from weaning (17 day mean age) to slaughter in a fully slatted finishing facility; 2) double stock (DS) at 3.75 ft2/pig for eight weeks following weaning and then split into two pens at 7.5 ft2/pig each; and 3) nursery (NF) at 3.75 ft2/ pig for eight weeks in a conventional nursery followed by movement to the finisher and stocked at 7.5 ft2/pig to slaughter. All pens had one two-hole wean-finish dry feeder per 15 pigs and one cup-drinker per 15 pigs. While there were health related performance problems in Trials 1 and 2 due to PRRS, there were no trial by treatment interactions. At the end of eight weeks, WF pigs were heavier (P<.01) than DS pigs with NF pigs intermediate in weight (63.1, 59.2, and 60.9 lbs, respectively). The heavier weight was due to a difference (P<.01) in feed intake between the WF and DS treatments. There was no effect of nursery phase treatment on feed efficiency. There was no effect (P>.1) of any management treatment on any grow-finish phase production parameter reported. These data suggest that the performance improvement associated with wean–to-finish production systems occurs during the first eight weeks post-weaning. They also suggest that the response can be expected even when health challenges occur in a production system.