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This article in

  1. Vol. 87 No. 1, p. 179-188
    Received: Mar 17, 2008
    Published: December 5, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):


Effects of continual fluctuation in feed intake on growth performance response and carcass fat-to-lean ratio in grower-finisher pigs1

  1. B. P. Mullan*,
  2. M. Trezona*,
  3. D. N. D’Souza and
  4. J. C. Kim*2
  1. Animal Research and Development, Department of Agriculture and Food, South Perth, Western Australia 6151, Australia; and
    Australian Pork Limited, Deakin West, Australian Capital Territory 2600, Australia


An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of continual fluctuations in feed intake on grower-finisher pig growth performance and carcass fat-to-lean ratio (F:L). Sixty individually housed female pigs (Landrace × Large White) with initial BW of 29.8 ± 0.4 kg were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 feeding regimens (n = 15): 1) ad libitum throughout (AL); 2) 85% of the mean intake of the AL group during the previous week (R); 3) 70% of the mean intake on 1 d, and on the following day, 100% of the amount consumed by the AL group during the preceding week, with this pattern repeated every 2 d throughout (D); and 4) 70% of the mean intake for 3 consecutive days, and 100% of the amount consumed by the AL group for the next 3 d, with this pattern repeated throughout the experiment (3-D). Pigs receiving each treatment were fed the same diets during the weaner (10 to 20 kg), grower (20 to 50 kg), finisher 1 (50 to 70 kg), and finisher 2 (70 kg to slaughter at approximately 104 kg) growth phases. Pigs receiving fluctuated feed intake either by the D or 3-D feeding regimen showed a pattern of growth similar to that of pigs on the R feeding regimen. Pigs on the R and 3-D regimens were lighter at 28 d (P < 0.05) and pigs on the R, D, and 3-D regimens were lighter at 63 d (P < 0.05) than pigs on the AL regimen. Pigs on the R, D, or 3-D feeding regimens had a greater G:F between 15 to 42 d of the experiment than pigs fed AL throughout (P < 0.05). The R, D, and 3-D feeding regimens seemed to have some effect on carcass weight and dressing percentage, and pigs had a decreased P2 (located 65 mm from the midline of the carcass at the last thoracic rib) backfat depth (P < 0.05) compared with pigs fed AL. Pigs on the AL and 3-D feeding regimens had thicker subcutaneous fat at the last lumbar vertebrae on the dorsal edge of the loin than pigs on the R feeding regimen (P < 0.05). Carcass and visceral fat content and the F:L in the carcass and primal cuts, as measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, were not different among treatments. However, pigs on the AL and 3-D feeding regimens had decreased estimated bone content in the carcass compared with pigs on the R and D feeding regimens (P < 0.05). The results indicated that continual fluctuation in feed intake either every other day or every 3 d had minimal effects on growth and carcass F:L compared with pigs fed the same restricted amount throughout the experiment.

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