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Nursery Weight Predicts Finishing Pig Performance

16 December 2016

New research from Purina Animal Nutrition shows that every pound a pig gains at weaning can be correlated to nearly 2 pounds at the end of nursery and nearly 4 pounds at finishing.

Challenges with feed consumption ranked high in results from a recent industry survey; 85 percent of pork producers saw early feed consumption as a challenge. The impacts of this challenge reach far beyond the nursery.

“Our research showed that end of nursery weight is a strong predictor of finishing performance,” says Brenda DeRodas, Ph.D., director of swine research at Purina Animal Nutrition Center.

Profit starts at weaning

During the on-farm trial conducted over an 18-month period with more than 1,770 pigs, researchers documented weights from wean to finish. Results showed that each additional pound at weaning correlated to an increase of 1.8 pounds at Day 32 postweaning. Furthermore, each additional pound at Day 32 post-weaning correlated to 2.1 additional pounds at finishing on Day 110.

Time is money

In the study, weaning weights were a strong predictor of days to finishing. Weaned pigs weighing between 18 and 21 pounds reached market weight 17 days sooner than those with weaning weights between 9 and 12 pounds.

Data collected from pigs weighing between 18 and 21 pounds at weaning suggested greater daily gains and improved feed efficiency from weaning to market compared to smaller pigs.

Feeding solutions

To help pork producers maximize animal performance, Purina Animal Nutrition has reformulated the UltraCare® family of products to better meet the nutritional needs of young pigs and to create aggressive eaters early. UltraCare® feed is part of Progress to Profit™, a complete and customizable program of nutritional solutions to support performance from weaning to finishing.

“Our team is dedicated to developing solutions to help pigs start off right and then delivering the right nutrients at the right time as they grow,” says DeRodas. “This approach to nutrient delivery supports downstream animal performance for better ROI potential for our customers.”

If successful starts are a challenge on your farm, or you see room for improvement in the way your pigs are performing through to finishing, be sure to visit the nutrition specialists from Purina Animal Nutrition in booth 365 at World Pork Expo, June 8-10 in Des Moines, Iowa.

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