Interaction Between Pig Density and Dietary Energy
Dietary net energy and stocking density independently affect performance, feed utilization and profits in the finisher barn. The objective of this experiment was to assess the interactions of stocking density and dietary energy, and determine how these interactions affect net income. When stocking density was increased, the performance of finishing pigs was reduced; however the income over feed cost was maximized when pigs were stocked at higher densities. Furthermore, finishing pigs responded to increasing dietary energy by decreasing feed intake and improving growth rate, feed efficiency, caloric intake, caloric efficiency, and income over feed cost. However, the dietary energy which maximized performance and economics did not vary with stocking density. Thus producers should optimize both of these factors separately when determining optimal production.
As space allowance decreased, a linear reduction in caloric intake and growth was observed. The restriction in nutrient intake resulted in the growth reduction, suggesting that if pigs were able to maintain a comparable caloric intake at higher stocking densities effects on growth would be reduced. Overall there were no interactions between dietary energy concentration and stocking density. A similar response to dietary energy at all stocking densities was observed. The negative effects of a high stocking density on performance were not mitigated by dietary energy. Increasing the stocking density linearly increased the income over feed cost per pen but there was not an interaction between dietary energy and stocking density. Therefore the dietary energy which maximized the income over feed costs did not differ with stocking density