Animal Husbandry and Nutrition Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Series NQ. 60-8 Experiment Station
D 1959 RATIONS FOR EARLY WEANED PIGS
G. E. Combs, J. M. Vandepopuliere and H. D. Wallace I/
The present trend of weaning pigs at a comparatively early age has
necessitated the initiation of numerous studies concerned with the formula-
tion of palatable and nutritionally adequate prestarters and starters. In
most of these studies dried skimmilk or a dried milk product has been fed at
levels ranging from 10 to 40 percent of the ration.
The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of pigs fed a
ration containing dried skimmilk with those fed a fortified corn-soybean meal
Sixty-nine pigs weaned at approximately two weeks of age were allotted
on the basis of age, weight and litter to the ration treatments. All pigs
were self-fed in concrete-floored pens; bedding consisted of wood shavings
and heat lamps were used to supply supplemental heat.
The composition of the experimental rations is presented in Table I.
The prestarter was fed during the first week of the experiment; the starter
ration for the second, third and fourth weeks and the grower ration for the
fifth and sixth weeks. As shown in Table I the main difference between the
two experimental treatments was the presence of dried skimmilk in the pre-
starter and starter rations of treatment I. The composition of the grower
ration was the same for both treatments.
Results and Discussion
A summary of the results is presented in Table 2. As was anticipated
in view of previous studies at this and other experiment stations optimum
performance was not obtained during the prestarter and starter period when j
soybean meal was used as the source of supplementary protein. During the
first four weeks the pigs on treatment I gained approximately 40 percent
faster than pigs on treatment 2. Treatment I pigs consumed 15 percent more
feed and required 23 percent less feed per pound of gain than treatment 2 ;9gs.
However when the overall performance is considered (6 week period), .
percentage increase is considerably less than that found in the initi -
period. This indicates that the reduction in early performance by on
treatment 2 did not seriously affect subsequent rate and economy of owth
I/ Combs, Vandepopuliere, and Wallace, Assistant Professor, Researc
Assistant and Associate Professor respectively, Department of Animal'' ",.
Husbandry and Nutrition. The assistance of W. E, Collins and L, S, ThY1yvt
Swine Herdsmen is gratefully acknowledged.
Table I. COMPOSITION OF EXPERIMENTAL RATIONS
Ground yellow corn
Trace minerals I/
I/ Supplied the following in the ration (ppm): Mn. (35.5), Fe. (43.8),
Cu. (3.0), Co. (1,0), Zn. (50.0) and K. (4.7).
2/ Supplied the following vitamins and antibiotics per pound of ration:
vitamin A, 2,000 I.U.; vitamin D, 400 I.U.; niacin, 20 mg.; riboflavin,
3 mg.; pantothenic acid, 10 mg.; choline, 500 mg.; thiamine, 3 mg.;
pyridoxine, I mg.; vitamin B12, 20 mcg.; chlortetracycline, 25 mg.;
penicillin, 6 mg.; and streptomycin, 9 mg.
a The grower ration was fortified with the following per pound; vitamin A,
1400 I.U.; vitamin D, 264 I.U.; riboflavin, 3 mg.; pantothenic acid, 8 mg.;
niacin, 18 mg.; and chloretetracycline, 10 mg.
during the grcwer period.
An additional check on subsequent performance showed that at 154 days of
age 12 of the pigs fed dried skimmilk averaged 168.4 pounds and that 12
comparable pigs fed soybean meal averaged 169.6 pounds; the average weight of
the pigs in these two groups at the end of the 6 week period was 34.1 and
32.0 pounds respectively. It is evident that the rate of gain during the
growing finishing period was not affected by the initial pre-starter and
Sixty-nine pigs weaned at two weeks of age were fed prestarters and
starters in which either a combination of dried skimmilk and soybean meal or
only soybean meal was used as the major source of supplementary protein.
The pigs fed rations containing dried skimmilk exhibited the most rapid
and efficient rate of growth. The magnitude of the difference between the
two treatments was greatest during the prestarter and starter period; at the
end of the grower period this difference was considerably less and at 154
days of age representatives from the two treatments were of approximately
These data indicate that a fortified corn soybean meal ration may be
used satisfactorily with pigs weaned at two weeks of age.
-t < -
Table 2. COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE OF PIGS FED
DIFFERENT PRESTARTER AND STARTER RATIONS
Av. initial wt., Ibs.
Av. final wt., Ibs.
Av. gain, Its.
4 Week Period
Av. daily gain, Ibs.
Av. daily feed, Ibs.
Lb. feed/lb. gain, Ibs.
6 Week Period
Av. daily gain, Ibs.
Av. daily feed, Ibs.
Lb, feed/lb. gain, Ibs.
Animal Husbandry Department