Comparison of Growth Performance of Antibiotic-free Yorkshire Crossbreds Sired by Berkshire, Large Black, and Tamworth Breeds Raised in Hoop Structures

  • Whitley, N. (North Carolina A&T State University) ;
  • Morrow, W.E.M. (North Carolina State University) ;
  • See, M.T. (North Carolina State University) ;
  • Oh, S.H. (North Carolina A&T State University)
  • Received : 2012.03.27
  • Accepted : 2012.07.01
  • Published : 2012.10.01


The objective of this study was to compare body weight, ADG, and feed:gain ratio of antibiotic-free pigs from Yorkshire dams and sired by Yorkshire (YY), Berkshire (BY), Large Black (LBY) or Tamworth (TY) boars. All the crossbred pigs in each of three trials were raised as one group from weaning to finishing in the same deep-bedded hoop, providing a comfortable environment for the animals which allowed rooting and other natural behaviors. Birth, weaning and litter weights were measured and recorded. From approximately 50 kg to market weight (125 kg), feed intake and body weights were recorded manually (body weight) or using a FIRE (Feed Intake Recording Equipment, Osborne Industries Inc. Osborne, Kansas) system with eight individual feeding stations. Feed intake data for 106 finishing pigs between 140 and 210 d of age and the resulting weights and feed conversion ratios were analyzed by breed type. Least square means for body weights (birth, weaning and to 240 d) were estimated with Proc Mixed in SAS 9.2 for fixed effects such as crossbreed and days of age within the sire breed. The differences within fixed effects were compared using least significant differences with DIFF option. Individual birth weights and weaning weights were influenced by sire breed (p<0.05). For birth weight, BY pigs were the lightest, TY and YY pigs were the heaviest but similar to each other and LBY pigs were intermediate. For weaning weights, BY and LBY pigs were heavier than TY and YY pigs. However, litter birth and weaning weights were not influenced by sire breed, and average daily gain was also not significantly different among breed types. Tamworth sired pigs had lower overall body weight gain, and feed conversion was lower in TY and YY groups than BY and LBY groups (p<0.05), however, number of observations was somewhat limited for feed conversion and for Tamworth pigs. Overall, no convincing differences among breed types were noted for this study, but growth performance in the outdoor environment was satisfactory.


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