Performance of Growing Pigs Fed Using Electronic Versus Commercial Feeders

Date
2003-01-01
Authors
Casey, David
Dekkers, Jack
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Abstract

The effect of electronic feeders on performance of growing boars and gilts was evaluated. Yorkshire boars and gilts (n=475) were randomly assigned to pens with single-space FIRE (electronic) feeders and pens with fivespace SMIDLEY feeders. Pigs began and ended test at an average body weight of 39 and 116 kg. Over the whole test period, pigs on electronic feeders did not differ significantly in growth rate, backfat thickness, and loin muscle area from pigs on commercial feeders. They did, however, use less feed and converted this more efficiently. Further inspection of growth and feed intake curves revealed that gilts on electronic feeders used less feed and grew slightly slower, in particular during early growth, but no differences were found for boars. Results indicate that electronic feeders may cause a genotype by environment interaction for gilts but not for boars.

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