Feed Intake Patterns and Growth Performance of Purebred and Crossbred Meishan and Yorkshire Pigs

  • Hyun, Y. (Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign) ;
  • Wolter, B.F. (Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign) ;
  • Ellis, M. (216 Animal Science Laboratory)
  • Received : 2000.09.15
  • Accepted : 2001.01.20
  • Published : 2001.06.01


Two experiments were conducted to compare the feed intake patterns and growth performance of Meishan and Yorkshire growing pigs. Experiment 1 was carried out over a 6-wk period and used 48 barrows with equal numbers of purebred Meishan (M) and Yorkshire (Y). Pigs were allocated to four groups of 12 pigs consisting of equal numbers of M and Y. Initial BW were $36.4{\pm}0.32kg$ and $42.1{\pm}1.41kg$ for M and Y, respectively. Experiment 2 was carried out over a 5-week period and used 48 pigs consisting of equal numbers of both barrows and gilts and of crossbred Meishan$\times$Yorkshire (MY) and purebred Yorkshire (Y) animals. Pigs were allotted to 6 pens of 8 pigs, with 4 single- and 2 mixed-genotype groups (initial $BW=28.5{\pm}0.99kg$). In both experiments, pigs were given ad libitum access to a grower diet (17% crude protein, 0.9% lysine, 3365 kcal/kg ME) via feed intake recording equipment (F.I.R.E.). Pigs carried an ear-tag transponder with an unique identification which allowed the time, duration, and size of individual meals to be recorded. In Exp. 1, Y had higher ADG (721 vs 353 g, p<0.01), daily feed intake (DFI; 2.338 vs 1.363 kg, p<0.01), made more frequent visits to the feeder per day (NFV; 18.5 vs 7.7, p<0.01), had a shorter feeder occupation time per visit (FOV; 7.4 vs 12.9 min, p<0.01), and ate less feed per visit (FIV; 130 vs 177 g, p<0.01) than M pigs. Feed consumption rates (CR) were greater for Y compared to M (19.3 vs 14.8 g/min, p<0.01). Feeder occupation time per day (FOD) was longer for Y than M (114.3 vs 82.8 min/pig, p<0.01). Yorkshire pigs visited the feeder more frequently between 0800 and 1100 h. Meishan pigs showed more frequent feeder visits between 0600 and 0800 h, and between 1600 and 2100 h when feeding competition with Y was reduced. In Exp. 2, there was no effect of genotype or group composition on DFI, ADG or gain:feed ratio. Crossbred pigs (MY) made fewer feeder visits (12.6 vs 17.7, p<0.01), and had greater FIV (124 vs 98 g/visit, p<0.01), and longer FOV (8.11 vs 7.24 min/visit, p<0.01) and FOD (112 vs 100 min, p<0.05) than Y pigs. Results of this study suggest substantial genetic variation in feeding patterns as well as in growth performance.

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