Neither Photoperiod nor Time of Weaning Impact Nursery Performance
Weaning, which requires adapting to a new feed source and environment, may result in anorexia and reduced growth in the initial 24 to 48 hours in the nursery. Th is study was designed to determine if altering the photoperiod in the farrowing room and/or if weaning at the end of the light or the dark cycle would affect performance in the nursery. Pigs were given either a 16 h light:8 h dark (16L:8D) or a 8L:16D photoperiod while in the farrowing room, and weaned either at the end of the dark or the light cycle. Neither photoperiod in the farrowing room, nor time of weaning affected growth rate in the nursery and nursery exit weights were similar among treatments.
Pigs weaned at the end of the light period had more feeder visits in the first 24 hours post-weaning, however this did not result in higher feed intake post-weaning. Neither photoperiod nor time of weaning had an effect on the percentage of pigs (34) identified as “eaters” during the initial 24 hour in the nursery. Overall, photoperiod manipulation in the farrowing room did not benefit post-weaning growth rates.
Interestingly, pigs exhibiting evidence of phase 1 consumption immediately post-weaning were the lighter pigs and they had higher ADG immediately post-weaning than those identified as non-eaters.