Hogs given a water-based medication had a growth response similar to that of hogs provided a feed-based medication, according to KansasStateUniversity research.

The researchers gave one group of pigs Neomycin via their drinking water and gave another group the medication in their feed. They found that improvements in daily gain and feed intake were similar in both sets of pigs.

“The significance of these findings is that feed mills could provide antibiotic-free feed,” says Bob Goodband, swine specialist, KansasStateUniversity. “Producers could administer the antibiotic through water and achieve the same growth benefit as provided by feed-grade antibiotics.”

Currently, feed-based medication is less expensive, but some producers and mills may choose the increased flexibility that a water application provides.

You can find more information about this and other pork production and research on the Kansas State Research and Extension Web site at http://www.asi.ksu.edu/swine.