The Effect of Starter Feeding Regimen on Variability in Bodyweight and Performance in the Nursery
Negative impacts on revenues and expenditures are associated with variability in performance and growth. Variation either needs to be managed or reduced. Starter program effects may influence the growth of individual pigs in the nursery to allow younger or smaller pigs to catch up to the older or bigger ones. Variations were observed to properly evaluate the starter programs influence on variability. Four programs were observed with diets fed and formulated from weaning to nursery exit. Average daily gain was similar between groups though feed efficiency was influenced as average daily feed intake differed. Variation in growth was not affected regardless of the starting weight of the pigs. Specific starter programs may slightly alter performance but variability is not affected.