Pen Space Allocations and Pelleting of Swine Diets

1998 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Swine Report. An experiment was conducted to determine whether an interaction exists between pen space allocation (14 versus 19 pigs per pen in 8 x 14 ft pens) and physical form of the diet (meal versus pellet) in a fully slatted facility. There were no interactions between diet form and pen space allocation for daily gain, feed intake or feed conversion efficiency. Pigs fed pelleted diets had a 2.3 percent improvement in daily gain and a 7.9 percent improvement in feed efficiency. Although pigs housed 14-per-pen grew faster than those housed 19-per-pen with no difference in feed conversion efficiency, pigs in the 19-pig pens produced 30 percent more live weight gain per square foot of pen space during the 106-day trial. There were no differences in death loss or body weight variation within the pens of pigs. These results suggest the response to pelleting is similar, regardless of pen space allocations and that pen space allocations affect not only pig performance, but also weight gain per unit of pen space. This has implications for income-per-unit of facility cost.