Based on these studies the performance (growth and efficiency) of hoop pigs was affected by seasonal variations. During the summer the hoop pigs grew more rapidly and were more efficient in liveweight gain than confinement pigs. However, during the winter, the trend reversed and the hoop pigs grew slower and were less efficient than confinement pigs. Apparently the hoop pigs in the cold environment used more feed for temperature maintenance. When averaged to simulate an entire year, the pigs’ performance was similar. Also the pig performance was more consistent from season to season in confinement.
Overall leanness of the hoop pigs was poorer than the confinement pigs as reflected by equivalent or more backfat, smaller loin muscle areas, lower percentage of lean, less lean per pig, the same or slower rate of lean deposition, and the same or poorer efficiency of lean gain. Therefore, hoop pigs may need to be fed diets that are somewhat different than diets fed to confinement pigs. Also based on slaughter checks, control of internal parasites in hoop pigs needs to be aggressive.
Iowa State University
Larson, M. E.; Honeyman, Mark S.; Penner, Arlie D.; and Harmon, Jay D., "Performance of Finishing Pigs in Hoop Structures and Confinement during Summer and Winter" (2000). Swine Research Report, 1999. 28.