The Effects of Water Availability and Space Allowance on Productivity and Profitability
Reduced floor space allowance for pigs may negatively affect growth performance as a result of competition for feed and water access, especially at later stages of the grower-finisher period. However, kilograms of pork produced per unit of floor space may increase with more pigs per pen, improving overall profitability for pork producers. The effect of space allowance was tested by altering the numbers of pigs per pen to provide 8.2, 7.4 or 6.8 ft 2 space allowance/pig. Th e effect of water availability was tested by adding one extra bowl drinker to create non-restricted water availability, or leaving as is to create restricted water availability. 1008 pigs (initial body weight 32.1 kg) were used to evaluate the effects on profitability, carcass traits and growth performance during the grower-finisher period. Despite an overall growth performance reduction observed with increased pigs per pen, results from this trial clearly indicate that producer’s profitability per square foot is increased. The findings of this trial also indicated that access to an extra water source in high stocking densities will improve profitability of the swine unit.