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Blend-feeding or Feeding a Single Diet to Pigs Has No Impact on Growth Performance or Carcass Quality

01 January 2013

Feeding strategy from 22kg to 102kg did not impact overall growth performance or carcass quality but blend-feeding and feeding a single diet resulted in cost savings compared to a phase-feeding programme in a study conducted in Perth, Western Australia.

A completely randomised block experiment was conducted using 216 female pigs (Large White × Landrace, six pigs per pen and 12 replicate pens per treatment), at an average liveweight of 22.6kg ± 0.56 (mean ± s.e.m.), to examine the effect of feeding strategies on performance during the grower–finisher phase, report Karen Moore and colleagues at the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia in South Perth, Australia. Their paper is published in the journal, Animal Production Science.

Pigs were blocked and randomly allocated to the following treatments on the basis of initial liveweight:
(1) phase-feeding: diets changed when the average LW of pigs in the pen reached 20, 50 or 80kg
(2) blend: diets changed weekly to meet the requirements of the average liveweight of pigs in the pen and
(3) single: the same diet fed throughout (formulated to meet the requirements of the pig at 60kg liveweight).

The experimental diets were fed from 22 to 102kg.

Between 68 and 98 days of age, pigs fed the single diet grew more slowly (P<0.001) due to poorer feed conversion (P<0.001) than did pigs fed the phase-feeding or blend diets. However, between 99 and 133 days of age, pigs fed the single diet utilised feed more efficiently (P<0.001) than did pigs fed the phase-feeding and blend diets.

There was no significant effect of the feeding strategies on overall growth performance (P>0.05) and there was no significant difference in carcass quality (P>0.05) among treatment groups.

However, it was 3.74 per cent and 3.51 per cent cheaper to use the blend- and single-diet feeding strategies, respectively, than it was to use a phase-feeding programme (P=0.002).

The present experiment has shown that blend-feeding could be a strategy to reduce the cost of production, concluded Moore and her co-authors. Feeding a single diet appears to have merit and may have appeal for certain circumstances; however, it would need to be investigated further before being implemented commercially, they added.


Moore K.L., B.P. Mullan and J.C. Kim. 2012. Blend-feeding or feeding a single diet to pigs has no impact on growth performance or carcass quality. Animal Production Science 53(1):52-56.

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January 2013

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