Influence of dietary protein level, amino acid supplementation, and dietary energy levels on growing-finishing pig performance and carcass composition

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Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of feeding reduced-CP, AA-supplemented diets at two ambient temperatures (Exp. 1) or three levels of dietary NE (Exp. 2) on pig performance and carcass composition. In Exp. 1, 240 mixed-sex pigs were used to test whether projected differences in heat increment associated with diet composition affect pig performance. There were 10 replications of each treatment with four pigs per pen. For the 28-d trial, average initial and final BW were 28.7 kg and 47.5 kg, respectively. Pigs were maintained in a thermoneutral (23°C) or heat-stressed (33°C) environment and fed a 16% CP diet, a 12% CP diet, or a 12% CP diet supplemented with crystalline Lys, Trp, and Thr (on an as-fed basis). Pigs gained at similar rates when fed the 16% CP diet or the 12% CP diet supplemented with Lys, Trp, and Thr (P > 0.10). Pigs fed the 12% CP, AA-supplemented diet had a gain:feed similar to pigs fed the 16% CP diet when housed in the 23°C environment but had a lower gain:feed in the 33°C environment (diet x temperature, P < 0.01). In Exp. 2, 702 gilts were allotted to six treatments with nine replicates per treatment. Average initial and final BW were 25.3 and 109.7 kg, respectively. Gilts were fed two levels of CP (high CP with minimal crystalline AA supplementation or low CP with supplementation of Lys, Trp, Thr, and Met) and three levels of NE (high, medium, or low) in a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement. A four-phase feeding program was used, with diets containing apparent digestible Lys levels of 0.96, 0.75, 0.60, and 0.48% switched at a pig BW of 41.0, 58.8, and 82.3 kg, respectively. Pigs fed the low-CP, AA-supplemented diets had rates of growth and feed intake similar to pigs fed the high-CP diets. Dietary NE interacted with CP level for gain:feed (P < 0.06). A decrease in dietary NE from the highest NE level decreased gain:feed in pigs fed the high-CP diet; however, gain:feed declined in pigs fed the low-CP, AA-supplemented diet only when dietary NE was decreased to the lowest level. There was a slight reduction in longissimus area in pigs fed the low-CP diets (P < 0.08), but other estimates of carcass muscle did not differ (P > 0.10). These data suggest that pigs fed low-CP, AA-supplemented diets have performance and carcass characteristics similar to pigs fed higher levels of CP and that alterations in dietary NE do not have a discernible effect on pig performance or carcass composition. © 2003 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Animal Science

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