The objective of the experiment was to define the form of the relationship between varying levels of protein and energy intake and the performance of young pigs. Forty-four young pigs were assigned at 12 kg live weight for 6 weeks either to an initial slaughter group (n 8) or to one of the nine feeding treatments (n 4); three allowances of a high-protein food with 355 g crude protein (nitrogen × 6 25; CP)/kg (P1, P2, P3) at three levels of feeding (L, M and H). Each feeding level was met by supplementing the allowance of feed P with the appropriate amount of starch and each treatment had two males and two females. The rate of protein deposition was not affected by feeding level at the two lowest allowances of basal feed P (P1 and P2), but it increased with increasing the feeding level for the pigs on treatment P3. Males deposited more protein than females, but this effect was more pronounced with treatment P3. The rate of lipid deposition increased with each increase in the level of feeding and decreased with increasing the allowance of feed P. The calculated efficiency of protein utilization (ep) was expressed as a function of the energy:protein ratio in the feed (MJ metabolizable energy/kg digestible CP). The best model to describe the relationship was a linear-plateau model, with the maximum value for epof 0.814 at 73 MJ/kg. This relationship provided the basis of a model that could predict the response of a growing pig to its diet as rates of protein and lipid retention.
- Body composition
- Protein utilization: Energy intake: Protein intake: Protein retention: Pigs