Application of broken-line analysis to assess floor space requirements of nursery and grower-finisher pigs expressed on an allometric basis

H. W. Gonyou, M. C. Brumm, E. Bush, J. Deen, S. A. Edwards, T. Fangman, J. J. McGlone, M. Meunier-Salaun, R. B. Morrison, H. Spoolder, P. L. Sundberg, A. K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Few issues in swine production are as complex as floor space allowances. One method for pork producers to calculate floor space allowance (A) is to convert BW into a 2-dimensional concept yielding an expression of A = k * BW0.667. Data on ADG, ADFI, and G:F were obtained from published peer-reviewed studies. Five data sets were created: A = grower-finisher pigs, fully slatted floors, and consistent group size; B = grower-finisher pigs and fully slatted floors (group size did not need to be consistent); C = grower-finisher pigs, partially slatted floors, and consistent group size; D = grower-finisher pigs, partially slatted floors (group size did not need to be consistent); and E = nursery pigs, fully slatted or woven wire floors (group size did not need to be consistent). Each data set was analyzed using a broken-line analysis and a linear regression. For the broken-line analyses, the critical k value, below which a decrease in ADG occurred, varied from 0.0317 to 0.0348. In all cases the effect of space allowance on ADG was significant (P < 0.05). Using the linear analyses based on data with k values of <0.030, the critical k values for the 4 grower-finisher data sets did not differ from those obtained using the broken-line analysis (0.0358 vs. 0.0336, respectively; P > 0.10); however, none of the linear regressions explained a significant proportion of the variation in ADG. The slopes for the nonplateau portion of the broken-line analyses based on percent values varied among data sets. For every 0.001 decrease in k (approximately 3% of the critical k value), ADG decreased by 0.56 to 1.41%, with an average value of 0.98% for the 5%-based analyses. The use of an allometric approach to express space allowance and broken-line analysis to establish space requirements seem to be useful tools for pig production. The critical k value at which crowding becomes detrimental to the growth of the pig is similar in full- and partial-slat systems and in nursery and grower-finisher stages. The critical point for crowding determined in these analyses approximated current recommendations to ensure the welfare of pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Analysis
  • Growth
  • Model
  • Performance
  • Pig
  • Space requirement

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