A note on the effects of the ratio of protein to digestible energy and digestible energy concentration in the diet on performance and nitrogen metabolism of piglets weaned at 21 days of age

Newport, M.J.; Keal, H.D.

Animal Production 35(3): 447-450


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-3561
DOI: 10.1017/s0003356100001173
Accession: 001039168

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Piglets were weaned at 21 days of age, and given diets containing crude protein 13.5 or 17.0 g/MJ digestible energy and digestible energy 14.7 or 16.8 MJ/kg in a 2 X 2 factorial experiment until 56 days of age. There was no effect on performance or feed intake when the diets were offered freely, but energy intake was increased with the higher concentration of dietary energy. The higher levels of both protein and energy improved performance in a metabolism experiment with feed intake restricted to 80% of free intake, and the higher protein level decreased nitrogen retention (g/day per kg liveweight) and plasma urea N. The results suggest that the level of feed intake can affect the response to changes in dietary energy and protein concentrations, and indicate that conclusions from metabolism experiments using restricted feeding may be inappropriate under other conditions.