Evaluation of Different Mixed Model Nonlinear Functions on Pigs Fed Low-Nutrient Excretion Diets1

A. P. Schinckel, S. Pence, M. E. Einstein, R. Hinson, P. V. Preckel, J. S. Radcliffe, B. T. Richert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Three nonlinear growth functions were evaluated on barrows (n=108)and gilts (n=105) fed diets designed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous excretion. The pigs were weighed at birth and at approximate 14-d intervals from 62 to 147 d of age and then weekly to 190 d of age. Mixed modelsincluding pig specific random effects were evaluated for the Bridges, Weibull, and generalized Michaelis-Menten (GMM) functions. Two pig specificrandom effects were included in each function-one for predicted mature BW and one variable associated withthe age at which maximum ADG was achieved. Alternative analyses were completed in which a random effect for a third parameter was predicted as a linear function of the random effectfor mature BW. The alternative analyses resulted in improved likelihood statisticsand smaller standard errors forthe between-pig variance in mature BW. The 3 functions provided similar likelihood statistics, residual standard deviations, predicted BW, and predictedmean age (140 d for barrows and 134 d of age for gilts) and meanBW (83 kg for barrows and 73 kg forgilts) at which maximum ADG was achieved. The Weibull and Bridgesfunctions predicted that 3 barrowsand 6 gilts had mature BW of less than 130 kg. The GMM function allowedfor more gradual growth to50% greater mature BW than the Weibull and Bridges functions. The GMM equation allows for nonsymmetric sigmoidal growth and in some cases may provide a better fit to the BW data of pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-412
Number of pages12
JournalProfessional Animal Scientist
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2006 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.


  • Mixed effects model
  • Nonlinear growth functions
  • Pig growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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