Floor space allowance project for finishing pigs

Project Purpose:  Do floor space allowances apply to modern finishing pigs marketed at 300 lbs?

The overall objective of this project is to determine the proper floor space allowance for growing finishing pigs that are marketed at 300 pounds. Current floor space allowances were determined in research studies conducted 10 to 20 years ago using pigs that were marketed at a body weight of no more than 250 pounds. Currently, pork producers are regularly marketing pigs that weigh over 280 pounds and often weigh 300 pounds. Given this precipitous increase in market weight, an obvious question is: “Do the old floor space allowances still apply for modern production scenarios?” This project is designed to answer this question. When the project is completed, we will be able to identify the optimal floor space allowance for pigs marketed at 300 pounds. The primary drivers of determining the optimal floor space allowance will be pig performance and welfare of individual pigs which will be measured by this project.

This project is in collaboration with Kansas State, Ohio State, University of Missouri, Michigan State, and Purdue University.

Objectives

  • Determine the effects of floor space allowance on growth performance and welfare of pigs throughout the growing-finishing period when marketed at an average pen live weight of 300 pounds.
  • Determine the effects of floor space allowance on growth performance of pigs weighing 300 pounds.

Principal Investigator:  Lee Johnston

Funding for this project provided by Minnesota Pork Board.