Response of Growing-Finishing Pigs to Dietary Energy Concentration
In this trial, feeding lower energy, lower cost diets had no effect on ADG or on loin thickness, but did improve feed efficiency, and reduced backfat thickness. This indicates that lower energy diets may be used to increase net income. This experiment was conducted in an environment of high feed intake, and different results may accrue under conditions of lower feed intake. At the time of this trial, the lowest energy diet increased return over feed cost by more than $10 per pig sold, as compared to the highest energy diet.
The primary objective of pork production is to produce lean meat in a cost effective and sustainable manner. Because energy is considered to be the most important driver of growth in the diet, achieving the full genetic potential for growth in the modern pig requires a clear and definitive understanding of the energy response curve in all phases of production. Despite the importance of energy in the design of commercial feeding programs, and the impact that daily intake has on energy supply, there has been surprisingly little information developed on animal response to energy intake. The little information that is available tends to emphasize whole body growth and reveals little in terms of the partitioning of energy into protein, lipid, water and ash. Establishing responses to nutrient intake levels is particularly critical in defining feeding programs to maximize carcass quality.