Results of these 2 experiments document the impact of repeated out-of-feed events on grower-finisher pig performance. Repeated out-of-feed events that are 20 hours long results in a decrease in daily gain. While the pig appears to adjust to repeated out-of-feed events during the finishing phase, the adjustment doesn’t always result in overall performance being equal to pigs which never experience a 20-hr out-of-feed event. While pig welfare associated with fighting when feed availability returns is a concern, there was no difference in pig lesion scores between treatments in either experiment. There was a tendency for an increase in tail biting score for pigs fed the medium vs coarse ground diets in Experiment 1 and for pigs on the 3x every 2 weeks out-of-feed treatment in Experiment 2.
While out-of-feed events resulted in a decrease in daily gain, there was no impact on feed conversion efficiency. As expected, pigs fed the medium ground diets had no difference in daily gain, but had a 3.1% improvement in feed conversion efficiency compared to pigs fed the coarsely ground diets. In production units that must sell pigs by a certain date, these data will allow producers to examine whether the improvement in feed conversion efficiency from finely ground diets overcomes the loss in weight gain from out-of-feed events due to increased bridging often associated with finely ground diets.