Group Title: Animal husbandry mimeograph series - University of Florida Department of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition ; 55-5
Title: Preliminary observations on the effect of source of water on rate of gain of growing-fattening pigs
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 Material Information
Title: Preliminary observations on the effect of source of water on rate of gain of growing-fattening pigs
Series Title: Animal husbandry mimeograph series
Physical Description: 6 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Alsmeyer, Richard Harvey, 1929-
Cunha, T. J ( Tony Joseph ), 1916-
Wallace, H. D ( Harold Dean )
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Florida -- Dept. of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition
Publisher: Agricultural Experiment Station, Dept. of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1955
Subject: Swine -- Water requirements -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Swine -- Feeding and feeds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Swine -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: R.H. Alsmeyer, T.J. Cunha, and H.D. Wallace.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "June, 1955."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072848
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 76925472

Full Text

Animal Husbandry Mimeograph
Series No. 55-5 June, 1955


R. H. Alsmeyer, T. J. Cunha, and H. D. Wallacel

The water supplies for animals in certain regions have such high concen-

trations of various salts as to interfere with growth, lactation and reproduction.

Studies by Heller2 have indicated that the damage due to these salts depend more

on the total amount of salts present than on any specific one, thus representing

an osmotic effect rather than an injury from any particular ion. In these

studies, sheep and cattle were more resistant to injury than swine. Further

work indicated that the cause of damage was not due to any influence on the pH

of the intestinal tract, digestibility, or nitrogen retention. As far as can

be determined there has been no previous work done in which the source of water

was considered as a factor affecting rate of gain in pigs.

This study was undertaken to determine the effect of different sources of

water on the performance of growing-fattening pigs.

Sixteen weanling Duroc and Hampshire pigs with an average initial weight

of 60 to 70 pounds (74 days old) were divided into four experimental groups

according to weight, sex, size, and previous treatment. Each lot contained

1Alsmeyer, Graduate Assistant, Department of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition;
Cunha, Animal Husbandman and Head, Department of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition;
Wallace, Associate Animal Husbandman, Department of Animal Husbandry and Nu-
trition. The technical assistance of W. E. Collins is gratefully acknowledged.
2Heller, V. G., Sallns and Alkaline Drinking Waters. J. Nutr. 5: 421-429. 1932.
The Effect of Saline and Alkaline Waters on Domestic Animals. Okla. Agr. Expt.
Sta. Bul. 217. 1933.

four animals; however, one pig in Lot III died on the first day and an animal

in Lot I never did well and was removed from the experiment prior to its termi-

nation. The animals were watered from concrete troughs which were operated by

an automatic float valve. Each waterer had a sixty liter reservoir tank which

was painted with two coats of aluminum paint. The twenty-five liter storage

cans, used for storing and transporting water, were painted with aluminum paint

also. Water from each different source was collected twice or three times

weekly as needed and excess water was stored in the large cans. Measurement of

water consumption was accomplished by means of a marked level in the reservoir

tank. The amount of water required to raise the level of the water in the reser-

voir tank to this marked level was considered to be the quantity to have been

consumed by each lot. Water consumption was recorded at seven day intervals.

The sources of water used were as follows:

Lot I Lake water from a fresh water, spring-fed lake (near
University of Florida Plant Introduction Gardens).

Lot II Pond water having a high percentage of microflora.
(Lake Alyce, University Farm Area).

Lot III Distilled water.

Lot IV Well water from a shallow well at University of Florida
Swine Unit.

The pigs were fed a ration consisting of the following ingredients and con-

taining approximately 12.6 per cent of crude protein.

Ground Yellow Corn 78.0
Soybean Oilmeal 15.0
Alfalfa Meal 5.0
Ground Limestone 1.0
Steamed Bonemeal 0.50
Salt-trace minerals 0.53


The pigs were self-fed the ration in pens with concrete floors which were

washed daily. The animals were removed from experiment after reaching approxi-

mately 190 pounds live weight,

The salt-trace mineral mixture used was composed of 50 pounds of iodized

salt; 921 gm. manganese sulfate; 398 gm. ferrous sulfate; 125 gm. copper sulfate;

and 10 gm. cobalt carbonate.


Results of the experiment are summarized in Table 1. Lot I pigs (lake water)

gained at an average rate of 1.49 lbs. per day followed by those in lot III

(distilled water) which gained at the rate of 1.42 lbs. per day. The Lot II pigs

(pond water) showed an average daily gain of 1.41. The average daily gain in

Lot IV (well water) was 1.38 Ibs. One animal in this lot had a mild parakera-

tosis (dermatosis) during the early part of the experiment and this may account

in part for the lowest rate of gain in this lot. Later this animals rate of

gain was increased. There was very little difference in the rate of gain of

the four lots of pigs.

The feed efficiency of the pigs in Lot IV (well water) was superior to the

other lots with a figure of 3.34 pounds of feed per pound of gain as compared

with 3.45 for Lot II and 3.51 for Lot III. The feed and water consumption of

the pigs in Lot I was not summarized since there was an animal in this lot which

did not do well throughout the entire experiment. This pig was removed prior to

termination of the test. The possibility of this pig's poor performance re-

sulting from drinking lake water is not likely since the remaining three animals

in the lot showed the fastest rate of gain of any lot.

The difference in water consumption of the lots was the greatest difference

observed in this trial. The pigs in Lot II (pond water) drank 4323 ml. per day;

Lot III (distilled water), 4245 ml; and Lot IV (well water) consumed 3520 ml. of

water per day. There was only a slight increase in water consumption of the pigs

in Lot II as compared to those in Lot III. However, the average water consumption

for the pigs in Lot IV was 82 per cent that of Lot II and 83 per cent of Lot III.

It was noted that the pigs in Lot III (distilled water) consimed more water per

animal during the first eight weeks, but during the following weeks, the con-

sumption was slightly below that of the pigs on lake or pond water. The micro-

flora and other plant life of the lake and pond water appeared to decrease

following the first killing frost after November 27. This observation was made

by physical appearance only; howeverthis may be an explanation for the in-

creased water consumption by the pigs given this kind of water in Lots II and III.

Sixteen weanling pigs, divided into four lots, were fed lake water, pond
water, distilled water or well water ad libitum. They were watered from con-

crete watering troughs and water consumption recorded every seven days. The

animals were self-fed a non-fortified corn-soybean oilmeal, alfalfa meal ration.

The fastest gains were observed with the pigs on lake water but there was
not much difference in the rate of gain between all lots.

Water consumption was highest for the pigs on pond water followed by those

on distilled water. The pjgs on well water drank the least amount of water daily.

Efficiency of feed utilization was the best in Lot IV where the pigs were

given well water. However, there was not much difference among lots in efficiency

of feed utilization.

Further studies should be made with pond and lake water during the warmer

seasons when much plant life is present in these waters to determine the effect

of these microflora on the pig.

These preliminary studies indicate that there was not much difference in

the performance of pigs fed these four different sources of water. However,

these studies need to he repeated with a larger number of pigs and at different

times of the year when water composition may be different.



Experimental Treatments I II III IV
Lake Pond Distilled Well
Water Water Water Water

No. of animals 3* 4 3 4
Ave. initial wt. (Ibs.) 70 59 67 61
Ave. final wt. (lbs.) 195 193 196 193
Ave. gain per pig (ibs,) 125 134 129 132
Ave. number of days on expt. 84 95 91 96
Ave. daily gain (Ibs.) 1.49 1.41 1.42 1.38
Ave. daily water consumption per pig (ml.) 4324 4245 3520
Ave. datly feed consumption per pig (Ibs.) 4.86 4.99 4.61
Feed per 100 Ibs. gain (Ibs.) 345 351 334

from the experiment and water

* One pig in Lot I grew poorly. As a result this pig was removed
and feed consumption not tabulated.

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