Growth Rate and Feed Intake of Purebred Berkshire Pigs Housed in Hoop Buildings in Iowa
Berkshire pigs make up the majority of the niche market pig population, and although niche pork production has increased across Iowa and the United States and demand continues for high quality pork there remains a lack of production standards for niche pork producers to benchmark their performance against. The Berkshire pigs in our previous studies grew faster and were more efficient in feed conversion than expected. Therefore the objective of this study was to replicate our earlier work, and add to the database of niche pork production.
For this group of Berkshire pigs, growth rate was better than earlier research reports, but less than our previous trial. Feed conversions (feed-to-gain) were also better than earlier research but similar to last year’s report. Barrows grew faster and consumed more feed, but gilts were more efficient converting feed to gain. Although seasonal feed intakes differ for both sexes, growth rates were similar within gilts and barrows.