Meeting the amino acid requirements of growing pigs by manipulating the feeding schedule.
Three experiments were designed to find the most efficient and cost-effective method of meeting the changing amino acid requirements of male and female pigs during the growing period, using the minimum number of feeds. Trial one involved 144, and trial two 192 commercial crossbred (Landrace x Large White) pigs, eight to a pen, with sexes separate. Trial three involved 24 commercial crossbred (Landrace x Large White) pigs and 24 Dalland pigs each penned separately. The amino acid requirements (g/d) for the pigs in all three trials were determined for male and female Landrace x Large White pigs, respectively, using the Pig Growth Model (EFO Software Natal, 1995). Parameter values used for males and females were: growth rate (B, Id) 0.0107 and 0.0120; protein at maturity (Pmat, kg) 39.0 and 28.0; and lipid at maturity (Lpmat, kg) 2.60 and 3.89 respectively. In trials 1 and 2 two iso-energetic (DE 13.8 MJ/kg) basal feeds were formulated; Basal A being a high crude protein (CP) (347g CP/kg) feed designed to meet the amino acid requirements of a male at 20 kg liveweight, while Basal B was a low protein feed (l34g CP/kg) designed to meet the amino acid requirements of a female at 88 kg, thus providing for the most- and the least-demanding pigs on the trial. In the third trial, two iso-energetic (DE 13.8 MJ/kg) basal feeds were again formulated; Basal A being a high crude protein (CP) (347g CP/kg) feed designed to be 20% higher than the amino acid requirements of a male at 20 kg liveweight, while Basal B was a low protein feed (l34g CP/kg) designed to be 20% lower than the amino acid requirements of a female at 88 kg, once again providing for the most- and the least-demanding pigs on the trial. Trials 1 and 2 began when the median weight of pigs in each pen reached 20kg, and were terminated at a pen median of 85 kg liveweight. In the third trial each pig was started on trial when it reached 20kg and was terminated at a weight of 85kg. The first trial involved a phase feeding schedule (20-40, 40-60 and 60-85kg liveweight). The two basal feeds were blended in different proportions to create three feeds per phase: lysine contents in each of the phases in Treatment 1 (TI) were: 11, 8.68 and 7.26g/kg; in T2 they were 9.93, 7.58 and 6.24g/kg; and in T3, 8.85, 6.48 and 5.22g/kg. From the analysis it was established that ADO and time to reach 85kg were the only variables to show significance. ADO exhibited a significant sex x treatment interaction. There were significant differences between treatments for time taken to reach slaughter weight. In addition to a treatment effect there was a sex x treatment interaction for time to slaughter weight. It was expected that males on Tl and females on T3 would exhibit the most efficient performance for their respective sex since these treatments were specifically formulated to meet their requirements. Midway through the trial the pigs contracted enteritis, this affecting the outcome of the trial by inhibiting the potential growth of the pigs. The results of the trial indicated that dietary protein level affected the time taken to reach slaughter weight. This led to the second trial where four treatments were applied. Three of the four treatments followed a fixed feeding schedule, making use of the two basal feeds and a 1: 1 blend of these. The fourth treatment followed a phase feeding schedule, differing between the males (20-65, 65-75 and 75-85 kg liveweight) and the females (20-35, 35-75 and 75-85 kg liveweight). This treatment also made use of the two basal feeds and a 1: 1 blend of these. From the analysis it was found that there were no significant effects of sex and no interactions between feeding treatments and sex; however, ADO, FI, FCE, back fat thickness, time taken to reach 85kg and cost/kg gain were all significantly affected by the feeding treatments. Carcass lean, carcass lipid and total body lipid were also significantly affected by the feeding treatment. This trial was conducted to determine the extent to which differences in growth rate, food intake and carcass lipid could be altered by dietary means. The effect of the level of feed protein was once again shown to be of importance when feeding growing pigs. The third trial was designed to test the efficiency with which two strains make use of the dietary protein supplied. Three treatments were applied: Tl was a choice-feeding treatment in which the pigs were offered the two basal feeds simultaneously. T2 and T3 followed a phase feeding schedule (20-40, 40-60 and 60-85kg liveweight). The two basal feeds were blended in various proportions to create three feeds per phase: the lysine contents in each of the phases in T2 were: 12.2, 10.0 and 7.26g/kg; and in T3 8.1, 6.7 and 5.1g/kg. There were significant sex effects as well as strain x feeding treatment interactions. All variables, ADG, FI, FCE, time taken to reach 85kg and cost/kg gain, with the exception of back fat thickness, showed significance. It was expected that the Dalland strain would perform better than the Cross strain; however, this was not the case, indicating the need for further research into the possibility of feeding according to the genetic makeup of the animal. The importance of meeting the amino acid requirements of the growing pig was evident when summarising the results of the three trials reported here.