Impact of a Variable Number of Out-of-Feed Events on Grow-Finish Performance

University of Nebraska 2007 Swine Report. Out-of-feed events are a growing problem in nursery and grow-finish facilities due to issues associated with feed delivery to bulk bins and bridging of feed in bulk bins. Reports of bridging are increasing as producers continue to reduce the fineness of grind for complete diets in order to improve feed conversion. A study was conducted to examine the effect of repeated out-of-feed events on barrow performance in a wean-to-finish facility beginning 37 days after weaning. Pigs were never out-of-feed or denied access to feed for a 20-hour period beginning at noon on 1, 2, or 3 days within each two-week period during a 16-week experiment. During the first eight weeks, increasing the number of out-of-feed events resulted in a linear decrease in daily gain (P=0.003) and daily feed intake (P=0.011). There was no effect of out-of-feed events on daily gain or feed intake (P>0.1) for the second eight-week period. Because of the linear result of decreasing daily gain with increasing numbers of out-of-feed events during the first eight-week period, there was a linear (P=0.030) decrease in overall daily gain with increasing numbers of out-of-feed events. There was no effect( P>0.1) of out-of-feed events on overall feed conversion. There was no effect (P>0.1) of out-of-feed events on the severity of skin lesions as measured by individual pig scoring using a 0 to 4 scale on alternate Fridays during the experiment. These results support previous results that repeated 20-hour out-of-feed events result in a decrease in daily gain, especially during the growing period.