Capture efficiency with strategic nutrition for late-finishing pigs

Feed additives designed to address the unique challenges of finishing pigs can help you drive efficiency and capture more value at market.

May 15, 2024

2 Min Read
How to maximize efficiency during late finishing
Submitted by PMI

By: Mandy Gerhart, swine product manager, PMI

Picture a stressful night out: no parking, a lengthy wait for a table, rushed dining, struggling air conditioning and your pants are already feeling tighter after dessert. Now, visualize the last 70-90 pounds of gain for a market pig – oddly familiar, right?

During late finishing, pigs shift from lean to fat deposition, driving up maintenance costs at the expense of efficiency. As additional stressors pile up, they chip away at performance and eat into the producer's bottom line.

Some of the challenges late-finishing pigs face are:

1. Environmental stress: Late-finishing pigs, being larger and heavier, are more susceptible to heat stress. Temperatures above a pig’s upper critical temperature divert energy towards regulating body temperature rather than growth, resulting in reduced daily weight gain.1 Heat stress also lowers feed intake, which can impact nutrient absorption. This can also diminish feed efficiency and protein digestibility.

2. Inconsistent feed intake: As pigs approach market weight, they consume more feed. However, issues like crowding and feeder competition can disrupt feed intake and proper gut function. This can slow growth and increase days to market. Consequently, producers may face the dilemma of selling lighter pigs or incurring higher costs due to extended feeding periods, resulting in reduced returns.

Proactive nutritional strategies and management practices are essential to mitigate these stressors, optimize feed intake and enhance overall efficiency and profitability. Alongside effective bin and feeder management, barn environment control and targeted marketing strategies, strategic nutrition solutions can help pigs efficiently reach market weight despite late finishing challenges.

Incorporating low-inclusion feed additives like Ambitine® supports gut function and nutrient absorption without requiring multiple diet reformulations – just replace 2 pounds of corn with Ambitine® feed additive for the last 70-90 pounds of gain. Studies have shown that pigs fed Ambitine® feed additive showed improved daily gain (+4.2%) and feed efficiency (-2.6%) compared to controls,2 highlighting the impact of targeted nutrition strategies in optimizing late-finishing pig performance and profit potential.

Late-finishing stress doesn’t make “cents,” but incorporating Ambitine® feed additive into your late-finishing diet can. Learn more by contacting your PMI representative or visiting   

1Purdue University Cooperative Extension. Pork Industry Handbook. Purdue University, 2010.

2Trials cited: FT150F-16 TB6; FT152F-17; HF726/729; WF001; FT116aF-10; HF739 TB2; FT140F-15 TB1; WF005; WF006; FT116bF-10; FT154F-17; FT145F-16

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