Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R3185



Summary and Implications

There are a variety of health challenges that affect pork producers; thesechallenges can have a significant impact on profit for the producer. The objective of this experiment was to quantify the impact of an apparent health challenge on growth performance and carcass characteristicsduring the grow finish stage of production. Within each of 3 barns, ~900 pigs (Init. BW = 13.1 ± 0.2 kg) were split by weight and blocked by sex. Each barn was categorized based on the apparent health status as low challenge (LC), moderate challenge (MC), or high challenge (HC).Fecal samples were collected at ~45 and ~100 kg in the HC and LC barns. There was a decrease in ADG and ADFI with increased health challenge (P< 0.05). Feed efficiency was greatest in LC,but the same in the MC and HC (P< 0.05). The MC and HC barns had greater HCW than the LC barn (P< 0.05). This was similar for percent yield (P< 0.05). However, there was no difference for percent lean or fat depth amongthe three health statuses (P> 0.05). The HC barn had greater ATT digestibility of DM and GE than the LC barn (P < 0.05).Health challenge impaired growth rate and feed intake and had a less than expected impact on feed efficiency. Digestibility of DM and GEdid not explain poorer performance in the more health challenged barns