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Research r...WeanersTrial report 769

Trial report 769: Test of weaner diets

Simple low-energy diets reduced productivity by 13%, but improved production economy by 18%. An alternative diet without fishmeal, but with coconut oil and dried whey reduced productivity by 7% and improved bottom line results by 7%.


The aim was to investigate the growth of weaned pigs on different types of diets. The investigation comprised three feeding concepts:

Control:  Traditional weaning diet containing fishmeal, soy protein concentrate and dried whey. Weaner diet containing dehulled soybean meal and fishmeal 
Low-energy:  Simple diet without fishmeal and with a low energy content and a high inclusion of dehulled soybean meal 
Alternative:  The weaning diet contained no fishmeal in, but had a high content of dehulled soybean meal, dried whey and coconut oil. Simply composed weaner diet 

The investigation demonstrated that the pigs in group 2 had a significantly higher frequency of diarrhoea treatments. The pigs in the control group were treated for an average of 0.4 days, while the pigs in group 2 were treated for an average of 1.3 days. There was no difference in mortality between the groups.

The investigation demonstrated that the pigs in groups 2 and 3 had a 13% and 5% lower production value, respectively, compared with control when the feed prices were identical. In order to obtain the same production economy, one must pay DKK 19 less per 100 kg for the weaning diet and DKK 24 less for the weaner diet for group 2, while the diets for group 3 must be DKK 14 and DKK 8 cheaper, respectively, per 100 kg compared with control with fishmeal. As the price differences with the current feed prices between the diets are far greater, calculations with the current feed prices (autumn 2006) show that the production economy was 18% better in group 2 and 7% better in group 3.

In the finisher period, no significant differences were observed in daily gain regardless of feeding concept in the weaner period, but the lean meat percentage for the pigs in groups 2 and 3 was significantly higher compared with the control group. The pigs in group 2 took 3-4 days longer in reaching the slaughter weight from weaning. 


Updated: 30.11.2006


Hanne Maribo

Chief scientist, PhD

Tel.: +45 3339 4390