Effects of abrupt changes between mash and pellet diets on growth performance in finishing pigs



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service


A total of 200 finishing pigs (average initial BW of 132.3 lb) were used in a 58-d growth assay to determine the effects of an abrupt change from mash to pellets and pellets to mash on growth performance and carcass measurements. The experiment was designed as a randomized complete block with 5 pigs per pen and 10 pens per treatment. There were 4 treatments with 2 phases of diets utilized. Treatments were mash to mash, mash to pellets, pellets to mash, and pellets to pellets for Phases 1 and 2 of the experiment. For Phase 1 (d 0 to 36), pigs fed the pelleted diet had 4% greater (P < 0.06) ADG and F/G was improved (P < 0.03) by 8% compared to pigs fed mash. For Phase 2 (d 36 to 58) and overall (d 0 to 58), pigs fed the mash diet had poorer (P < 0.01) F/G than pigs fed the pelleted treatments. Indeed, pigs fed pellets the entire experiment had ADG and F/G 5 and 8% better (P < 0.01), respectively, than pigs fed mash the entire experiment. Pigs fed mash during Phase 1 then pellets during Phase 2 had improved (P < 0.01) ADG and F/G for Phase 2 compared with pigs fed pellets then mash. Overall pigs fed pellets for either Phase 1 or 2, but not both, tended to have poorer (P < 0.10) ADG and F/G compared with pigs fed pellets for the entire experiment. With HCW used as a covariate, no differences (P > 0.15) were observed in dressing percentage, fat thickness, loin depth, or percentage fat-free lean index (FFLI). Pigs fed pellets tended to have the greatest growth performance, pigs fed mash the worst, with pigs fed pellets for only part of the grow-finish phase rating intermediate.



Swine, Meal, Pelleting, Finishing pig