Growth Performance and Digestive and Metabolic Responses of Finishing Gilts Penned Individually or in Groups

University of Nebraska 1997 Swine Day Report. An experiment was conducted using one or four finishing gilts/pen to identify factors related to the lower performance of pigs penned in groups. Feed intake, daily gain and final weight were greater in pigs penned individually. There was a trend for greater loin weight and primal cut percentage for pigs penned individually. Apparent digestibilities of dry matter, crude protein and gross energy and the plasma concentrations of urea, glucose and nonesterified fatty acids were similar for both individually and group-penned pigs. These results suggest the lower performance of group-penned pigs is related neither to changes in digestive processes nor plasma metabolite concentrations.