Effect of Wean-to-Finish Management on Pig Performance

2000 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Swine Report. An experiment consisting of three trials was conducted to determine the effect of wean-to-finish management systems on pig performance. Treatments consisted of: 1) wean-to-finish single stock (WF) at 7.5 ft2/pig from weaning (17 day mean age) to slaughter in a fully slatted finishing facility; 2) double stock (DS) at 3.75 ft2/pig for eight weeks following weaning and then split into two pens at 7.5 ft2/pig each; and 3) nursery (NF) at 3.75 ft2/ pig for eight weeks in a conventional nursery followed by movement to the finisher and stocked at 7.5 ft2/pig to slaughter. All pens had one two-hole wean-finish dry feeder per 15 pigs and one cup-drinker per 15 pigs. While there were health related performance problems in Trials 1 and 2 due to PRRS, there were no trial by treatment interactions. At the end of eight weeks, WF pigs were heavier (P<.01) than DS pigs with NF pigs intermediate in weight (63.1, 59.2, and 60.9 lbs, respectively). The heavier weight was due to a difference (P<.01) in feed intake between the WF and DS treatments. There was no effect of nursery phase treatment on feed efficiency. There was no effect (P>.1) of any management treatment on any grow-finish phase production parameter reported. These data suggest that the performance improvement associated with weanto-finish production systems occurs during the first eight weeks postweaning. They also suggest that the response can be expected even when health challenges occur in a production system.