Estimation of the total sulfur amino acid requirement and the effect of betaine in diets deficient in total sulfur amino acids for the weanling pig

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Four experiments were conducted to determine whether betaine (BET) could replace dietary methionine (MET) in diets for weanling pigs. Pigs in each experiment were allotted to treatments on the basis of weight in a randomized complete block design. Each treatment was replicated four (Exp. 4), five (Exp. 1 and 2), or six (Exp. 3) times with five or six pigs per replicate. In Exp. 1, pigs were fed a diet formulated to be deficient in total sulfur amino acids (TSAA) (negative control; NC) or the NC + 0.05 or 0.10% MET or BET during Phase 1 and 0.035 or 0.07% MET or BET during Phase 2. Growth performance was not affected (P > 0.10) by dietary treatments, indicating that the diets were not deficient in TSAA. In Exp. 2, graded levels of TSAA (0.74, 0.79, 0.84, 0.89, or 0.94%) were fed. Overall ADG was increased (0 vs added MET, P < 0.07) in pigs fed TSAA levels of 0.79% or greater, but gain:feed was not affected (P > 0.10) by diet. Overall ADFI was increased (linear, P < 0.08) and plasma urea N (PUN) was decreased (quadratic, P < 0.01) as the level of TSAA was increased. Most of the change in ADG, PUN, and ADFI occurred between 0.74 and 0.84% TSAA. Thus, the 0.74% TSAA diet was used in Exp. 3 as the NC. In Exp. 3, the diets included the following: 1) NC, 2) NC + 0.05% MET, 3) NC + 0.10% MET, 4) NC + 0.039% BET, or 5) NC + 0.078% BET. The addition of MET resulted in increased (linear, P < 0.10) ADG, ADFI, and gain:feed, but MET decreased PUN (linear, P < 0.05). Daily gain, ADFI, and TSAA intake were not different (P > 0.10) between pigs fed 0.05% MET or 0.039% BET, but gain:feed was decreased (P < 0.01) in pigs fed 0.039% BET compared with pigs fed 0.05% MET. In Exp. 4, a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments was used (MET, 0 or 0.072%; cystine, 0 or 0.059%; or BET, 0 or 0.057%). Overall ADG and gain:feed were increased (P < 0.10) in pigs fed MET. The intake of TSAA was increased (P < 0.05), and PUN was decreased (P < 0.10) in pigs fed MET or cystine. Overall ADFI was increased in pigs fed BET or MET independently but not affected when BET and MET were fed together (BET × MET, P < 0.10). The addition of BET to TSAA-deficient diets resulted in increased ADG, which was due to an increase in ADFI (TSAA intake). Thus, BET did not spare MET in this experiment.

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Journal of Animal Science

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