Estimates were made of total body protein in 45 unimproved crossbred pigs slaughtered serially between 20 and 200 kg live weight. Allometric functions were used to estimate protein weight at any given body weight and the Gompertz function was used to express live-weight changes in relation to time and to predict weight at maturity. Predicted values for daily protein retention increased rapidly from 20 kg to attain, at around 75 kg live weight, maxima of 130 g for entire males, 120 g for females and 105 g for castrated males. Between 45 and 110 kg live weight rates of protein retention were maintained within 10 g of the maximum rate. Mature live weights were estimated to be 240, 215 and 225 kg for entire males, females and castrated males. The allometric exponents for whole body protein as a function of body weight were 0·963 (s.e. 0·025), 0·927 (s.e. 0·021) and 0·850 (s.e. 0·049) for entire males, females and castrated males respectively.