Effects of group size and floor-space allowance on growth performance and body components of wean-to-finish pigs in the tropical environment
Ninety large white x landrace crossbred weaners pigs with average body weights of 10.00±0.05kg 42 days of age were randomly assigned to three floor-spaces of 4.40m2, 5.50m2 and 6.60m2 with three group sizes of 8, 10 and 12 pigs, respectively. The feeding was done with weaner ration (20% CP, 3500 kcal/kg ME), finisher ration (16% CP, 3000Kcal/1kg ME) and water was given ad libitum. The average daily body gain (ADBGs and feed: gain ratio were 0.222kg, 0.208kg, 0.180kg and 8.42, 9.13, 9.72 for group size of 8, 10 and 12 pigs, respectively. Pigs in group sizes 8 and floor-space 4.40m2 were significantly (P<0.05) higher in daily weight gain, final body weight, feed intake and feed:gain ratio compared to the other group sizes 10 and 12, and floor-spaces 5.50m2 and 6.60m2. Again, pigs in group size 8 and floor-space 4.40m2 were significantly (p<0.05) higher in final gain and percent (%) gain on body length (BDL), body circumference (BDC), heart girth (HEG), ham length (HAL) and height-at-withers (HAW) . Based on these results, group size and floor-space allowance could be of great scientific guide to pig farmers in designing and improving breeding performance as well as commercial pig rearing in the tropics. It is however, recommended that the research be carried out on a larger scale to cater for commercial pig farmers in the tropics.
Keywords: Growth, group size, floor-space, wean-to-finish pigs, tropics