Pigs that grow significantly slower than their contemporaries are problematic for animal well-being and profitability. This study was designed to investigate the physiological and behavioral characteristics of slow growing pigs and risk factors associated with slow growth, and to investigate the effect of feeder space on pig performance. The results suggest that light body weights at early stages were the major risk factors for slow growth. Low concentrations of IGF-1, insulin, leptin and total AA were associated with slow growth in pigs. The need to provide ample feeder space during the early stage of growth in order to alleviate slow growth did not appear to be beneficial in growth performance in this study. Providing more feeder space reduced time spent standing, and tended to increase time spent lying by SG pigs, indicating that SG pigs may benefit from more feeder space and have improved welfare.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. December 2015. Major: Animal Sciences. Advisor: Yuzhi Li. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 109 pages.
Identifying The Characteristics Of Slow Growing Pigs And Risk Factors Associated With Slow Growth.
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