Journal of animal science

Effect of grinding intensity and pelleting of the diet on indoor particulate matter concentrations and growth performance of weanling pigs.

PMID 25548204


This study evaluated the effect of feed form and grinding intensity of the pig diet and the interaction between both on the particulate matter (PM) concentrations inside a pig nursery and the growth performances of weanling pigs. Four diets were compared: finely ground meal, coarsely ground meal, finely ground pellets, and coarsely ground pellets. Four weaning rounds with 144 pigs per weaning round, divided over 4 identical compartments, were monitored. Within each weaning round, each compartment was randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments. A hammer mill with a screen of 1.5 or 6 mm was used to grind the ingredients of the finely ground and coarsely ground feeds, respectively. Indoor concentrations of the following PM fractions were measured: PM that passes through a size-selective inlet with a 50 % efficiency cutoff at 10 (PM10) , 2.5 (PM2.5), or 1 (PM1) μm aerodynamic diameter, respectively (USEPA, 2004). Feeding pelleted diets instead of meal diets gave rise to higher PM10 (P < 0.001), PM2.5 (P < 0.001), and PM1 (P < 0.001) concentrations. Grinding intensity had an effect only on PM10 (P < 0.05) concentrations. No interaction between feed form and grinding intensity was found for any of the PM fractions. Interactions (P < 0.05) between feed form and grinding intensity on ADFI and ADG were found. Grinding intensity had an effect only on the meal diets with higher ADFI for the coarsely ground meal. Pigs fed the finely ground meal had a lower (P < 0.001) ADG than the other 3 diets. Feed efficiency was influenced only by the feed form (P < 0.001) and not by the grinding intensity. Pelleting the feed gave rise to a higher G:F. In conclusion, a contradiction between environmental concerns and performance results was found. Feeding pelleted diets to the piglets improved growth performance but also increased indoor PM concentrations.