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Effects from slowing pig growth due to COVID-19

Getty Images News/Scott Olson Pen of market hogs
What was the effect and where do we go from here?

The impacts of COVID-19 have created a backlog of pigs, requiring producers to keep them onsite weeks longer than expected. However, due to work with nutritionists and veterinarians, a change in diet was crucial in buying extra time for producers, while still keeping them under an ideal market weight.

Spencer Wayne, veterinarian with Pipestone Veterinary Services, talks with PVS Veterinarian Brent Pepin and Nutritionist Jon DeJong about the effect of slowing pigs down, as well as where do we go from here. Wayne is the host of the SwineTime podcast, produced by Pipestone.

A change in diet
DeJong says using low-crude protein or deficient lysine products in a pig's diet is designed to slow pigs down in weight. Although pigs ate about the same amount of feed, their daily rate of gain was about half the normal because the diet did not have anything available for pigs to put lean tissue down as muscle. In some instances, DeJong believes some pigs were actually on the lighter end.

Pepin noticed anyone who had late finisher pigs did slow pigs down during this time of COVID-19. DeJong notes the rate of gain is poor, and best guesses an $8 to $12 increase in feed costs per pig. DeJong, Wayne and Pepin also touch on fighting behavior in pigs, overstocking barns, welfare and a slowdown pig timeline.

Click here to listen to the entire podcast.

Don't miss SwineTime podcasts
SwineTime podcast was created for the pork industry and individual pork producers around the country. Hosted by Spencer Wayne with Pipestone Veterinary Services, the podcast contains pork industry news, advancements in animal care and how to enhance your productivity. Monthly podcasts are available on Spotify, Google Music, iTunes, Anchor and on

Source: Pipestone Veterinary Services, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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