Evaluation of feed quantity offered, feeding frequency and duration of feeding on the performance of growing pigs
Thai Journal of Agricultural Science
Department of Animal Production and Health, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria; Department of Animal Nutrition, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Tremendous progress has been recorded in pig nutrition in the last three decades. However, there is dearth of information with respect to the various methods of feed management practices in pig production. Hence, a 3×3×2 factorial experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of feed quantity offered (1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 kg), feeding frequency (one, two and three times per day) and feeding duration (3 and 5 months) on the growth performance of growing pigs. A total of forty-five eight-week weaner Large White male pigs were randomly assigned to three main treatments with each treatment consisting of three replicates of five pigs each. The experimental animals were housed in individual pens with concrete floor size of 2 m by 1 m equipped with feeding and watering troughs. Feeding was carried out at 07:00, 12:00 and 17:00 hours each day depending on the feeding frequency. Weekly data were collected on dry matter intake, change in body weight, water consumption rate, pulse rate, rectal temperature, frequency and quantity of faecal excretion. Terminal carcass evaluation was carried out at the 3rd and 5th months. Data obtained were subjected to 3-way analysis of variance. Performance response (final live weight, weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio) increased significantly (P<0.05) with increase in the quantity of feed offered from treatment 1 to treatment 3, while water intake and feed cost per weight gain decreased significantly (P<0.05) from 4.80 to 3.59 L pig-1 day-1 and $0.87 to $0.63, respectively with increase in quantity of feed offered. Feed intake, water intake, feed cost and frequency of faecal excretion increased significantly (P<0.05) with increased feeding frequency while rectal temperature decreased significantly (P<0.05) from 39.02 to 38.62°C with increased feeding frequency. The interaction among the quantity of feed offered, feeding frequency and feeding duration showed that growing pigs fed 2.5 kg pig-1 day-1 thrice per day for 3 months performed better in terms of growth. So, the productivity of pigs should not be based on a single factor of feed management but on interaction among these factors (feed quantity, frequency of feeding and feeding duration).