Summary:

Regardless of the season, the three groups of pigs monitored were heavier and gained more weight during the nursery period when fed gel (7 days) and pellets for a longer period than compared to pigs fed no gel and less pellets followed by meal-texture feed. 

Objective:

To measure the effect of three groups of pigs fed gel and more pelleted starter feed versus pigs fed no gel and less pelleted starter feed followed by meal texture starter feed.

Method:

Housing:



More than 1,000 weaned pigs were started in each of three separate groups, divided over three seasons (Fall and Winter 2008 and Early Spring 2009).  All pigs were housed in the same facility.  Gel / Pellet fed pigs arrived at the facility approximately 6 to 7 days prior to the control pigs in each of the three groups.

Feeding Program: 

No Gel/Short Period of Feeding Pellets (Control):

UltraCare® 200-Medicated 13.5 to 15 pound Body Weight (BW), UltraCare® 300-Medicated Meal texture 15 to 20 pound BW, UltraCare® 400-Medicated Meal texture 20 to 30 pound BW, UltraCare® 500-Medicated Meal 30 to 40 pound BW, followed by Meal-texture grower feed.

Gel/Longer Period of Feeding Pellets (Gel/Pellets):

UltraCare® Gel was offered upon arrival and fed for 7 days (0.375 lb per pig per day), UltraCare® 240-Medicated Pellets 14 to 17 pound BW, UltraCare® 350-Medicated Pellets from 17 to 25 or 28 pound BW, UltraCare® 500-Medicated Grind and Mix 25 or 28 to 40 pound BW, followed by Meal texture grower feed.

Weighing of Pigs: 

Pigs were weighed upon entering and exiting the facilities.  At the end of the trial, a random sample of pigs (> 10% of all pigs) was weighed from each of the three groups.  Mortality and pig weights were recorded.  All feed was delivered from the co-op and recorded upon delivery.  Feed left over (if any) at the end of the study was weighed back.

Results:

 

Summer 

Fall 

Winter 

Summary

Treatment

Gel / Pellets

Control

Gel / Pellets

Control

Gel / Pellets

Control

Gel / Pellets

Control

No. of Pigs

517

555

520

502

501

500

1538

1557

Start Wt, lb

14.0

13.2

13.8

13.5

14.6

13.4

14.1

13.4

Finish Wt, lb

72.2

60.7

71.2

60.0

90.8

71.3

78.0

64.0

Weight Gain, lb

58.2

47.5

57.4

46.5

76.2

57.9

63.9

50.6

Days in Nursery

59.0

52.0

59.0

52.0

59.0

52.0

59.0

52.0

Treated at Move to Finisher

25.0

50.0

31.0

60.0

13.0

27.0

23.0

45.7

Mortality, %

1.2

1.6

1.5

1.8

1.4

1.8

1.4

1.7

ADG, lb

1.0

0.9

1.0

0.9

1.3

1.1

1.1

1.0

ADFI, lb

1.7

1.5

1.7

1.4

2.1

1.7

1.8

1.6

Feed:Gain

1.7

1.6

1.7

1.6

1.6

1.5

1.7

1.6




Conclusion:

  • Average daily feed intake (ADFI) was improved when gel and pellets were fed longer to the pigs.
  • Pigs were heavier when fed gel and pellets longer, with improved average daily gain (ADG).  However, it must be noted that pigs were also heavier (0.3-0.8 pound) when starting on the gel and pellets.
  • No differences were observed in feed conversion in this study.
  • Pigs fed gel and pellets longer resulted in less mortality in all three groups of pigs.
  • Upon conclusion of the study, pigs were moved to the finisher, sorted by size and provided treatment if needed. Pigs fed gel and pellets longer in all three groups resulted in 50 percent less pigs receiving treatment in the finisher.

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For further information, please see your local feed sales representative at a Land O’Lakes Feed Co-op or Purina Mills Dealer.Visit us online at www.LOLFeed.com, www.PurinaMills.com