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The ability of pigs identified as slow growing from 20 to 45 kg live weight to respond to antibiotic supplementation was investigated in a cooperative study that involved 13 experiment stations in the north central region of the United States. In Exp. 1, pigs were identified as slow growing if they were in the bottom 25% of a contemporary group for weight per day of age or average daily gain since purchase as feeder pigs. Slow-growing pigs fed diets containing 110 ppm sulfamethazine and 110 ppm tylosin for 4 wk and 44 ppm tylosin for the subsequent 4 wk had an improved (P<.05) rate of gain for both the 0- to 4-wk period (.80 vs .. 76 kg/d) and the 0- to 8-wk period (.80 vs .. 77 kg/d) compared to the controls fed diets with no antibiotic supplementation. For four stations that identified all pigs in the contemporary group and sorted based on previous growth (Exp. 2), subsequent growth rate for the 0- to 8-wk period displayed a slight quadratic (P<.1) response. Daily feed intake increased linearly (P<.OO5) with increasing initial weight, as did feed to gain (P<.01). These results suggest that pigs identified as slow growing at approximately 52 kg do not respond differentially to dietary antibiotic supplementation.
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