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Formulating to Fermentable Protein Can Affect the Health and Performance of Nursery Pigs

Faris, R., S. May, S. Ebarb, P. Xue and M. Newcomb

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of fermentable protein (FP) on pig health and performance. FP is defined as the difference in ATTD CP and AID CP on a total CP basis. In experiment 1, 1,449 pigs (~19 d of age; initial BW = 5.9 ± 0.2 kg, 16 reps/trt, 22-23 pigs/pen) were blocked by pen location and randomly assigned to one of 4 treatments with FP levels of 1.36, 1.26, 1.16, and 1.06 in phase 1 (d 0-11) and phase 2 (d 11-20.5). FP was decreased primarily through the addition of soy protein concentrate (SPC) and the reduction of soybean meal (SBM). In experiment 2, 144 pigs (~21 d of age; initial BW = 4.7 ± 0.7 kg, 8 reps/trt, 3 pigs/pen) were blocked by weight and randomly allotted to one of 6 treatments with FP levels of 1.30, 1.24, 1.20, 1.15, 1.11, and 1.07 for phase 1 (d 0-7) and 1.22, 1.17, 1.13, 1.08, 1.03, and 0.99 for phase 2 (d 7–21). FP was decreased through the incremental replacement of soybean meal with hydrothermal mechanical processed (HTM) SBM. For both experiments, performance data was analyzed as a general linear model. Mortality and removal (M&R) and stool quality were analyzed as generalized linear mixed models, with a binomial or multinomial distribution, respectively. For experiment 1 (Table 1), the reduction in FP with SPC increased ADFI, decreased gain:feed, and reduced the probability of M&R from trial. For experiment 2 (Table 2), reduction of FP with HTM SBM linearly increased ADG, gain:feed, and probability of visually observing a more normal stool. A quadratic effect of reducing FP was also detected for ADG and ADFI.

In conclusion, these two experiments highlight that reducing diet FP can influence health and performance of pigs.