Effects of space allocations and energy levels on growth performance and nutrient digestibility in growing and finishing pigs

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In the commercial status, increasing the numbers of pigs per unit of floor was likely to reduce the housing cost (Brumm, Ellis, Johnston, Rpzeboom, & Zimmerman, 2001). However, space allocation, in terms of floor area, has been well‐documented to affect swine performance (Vermeer, de Greef, & Houwers, 2014). Many previous studies have suggested that space restriction is associated with decreased feed intake and growth rate (Cho & Kim, 2011; Edmonds & Baker, 2003; Gonyou & Stricklin, 1998).
Generally, the reduced feed intake under low space allocation would necessarily result in a reduced daily intake of energy and nutrients (Edmonds & Baker, 2003). Also, the low space allocation may have impact on the lean growth potential of pigs and thus affect the nutrient requirement (Edmonds, Arentson, & Mente, 1998). Kornegay, Meldrum, and Chickering (1993) noted that the reduced growth performance of weaning pigs with less space allocation was the result of the decrease in energy intake. However, in growing–finishing pigs, Brumm and Miller (1996) reported that the reduction in daily gain resulted from space restriction was independent of energy concentrations. The objectives of these two experiments were to assess the main and interactive effects of different space allocations and different metabolizable energy (ME) levels on growth performance and apparent total tract nutrient digestibility in growing and finishing pigs.
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