Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Levesque, Crystal, M.Sc., John F. Patience, Ph.D., Ruurd Zijlstra, Ph.D. and Eduardo Beltranena, Ph.D.
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
Reference: Manitoba Pork Council Research News, Prairie Swine Centre
Country: Canada


The weaning period is often associated with problems such as low feed consumption and reduced growth rate. Management of the weaned pig requires special attention to housing, environment and nutrition to reduce the post-weaning growth lag and to maximize performance. Environmental stressors such as weaning site, stocking density and group size can further reduce feed intake and thus the growth rate of weaned pigs. Understanding how the piglet responds to changes in environment and dietary nutrients will lead to improved piglet management and performance. To quantify the effectiveness of increasing energy density as a method to improve weaned pig performance, a study was designed where groups of similar pigs were provided diets ranging in digestible energy (DE) content. It was concluded that in young pigs (10 to 25 kg BW) with free access to feed, the limitation to growth is not due to gut capacity within the dietary digestible energy range of 3,350 to 3,650 kcal DE/kg. Increasing the energy density of the diet did not result in an improvement in pig performance in relation to daily body weight gain or protein deposition. It appears that growth limitations in the young pig are not overcome simply by increasing the dietary energy level. The reason for the lack of response to increasing dietary DE level is not clear; however, the source of energy and the crude protein content of the diet may play important roles in how efficiently the dietary energy is utilized.

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