Amino Acid Requirements of Genesus Feeder Pigs: Adjusting Digestible Lysine Levels in the Feed


Individual nutritional requirements are usually derived and expressed in terms of total daily amounts, as opposed to dietary concentrations. For example, finishing pigs need a total of 20 grams of digestible lysine per day to support a daily growth rate of 1 kg (2.2 lbs). To ensure accurate formulations, the nutritionist must know the expected level of daily gain and food intake, and then set the dietary concentration of digestible lysine accordingly.

For example, a finishing pig that is expected to grow at a rate of 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per day and consume 3 kg (6.6 lbs) of feed per day would need a diet containing 6.6 grams of lysine. digestible per kg (3 grams / lb) or 0.66%. If the same growth rate is expected but the food intake is only 2.5 kg / day (5.5 lbs / day), then the dietary concentration of digestible lysine should be increased to 0, 8% in order to always meet total daily needs. .

Food intake and growth rate are both affected by the energy level of the diet. As food energy concentration increases, food consumption decreases. This change is sometimes accompanied by improved growth rates if dietary energy concentrations reach sufficiently high levels. Recently completed trials by Genesus, for example, showed a decrease in daily feed intake of 6% and an increase in daily gain of 3% when finishing pigs Genesus (50% Duroc, 25% Yorkshire and 25% Landrace) were fed 4% added fat compared to no added fat diets. Since food intake decreases as the energy level in the diet is increased, the daily intakes of all nutrients will also decrease. It is therefore essential to consider the dietary energy concentration when establishing the levels of various nutrients, including lysine, in finishing diets.

To maintain a constant supply of nutrients while taking into account varying levels of dietary energy concentrations, the requirements for key components such as digestible lysine are expressed in terms of the nutrient / calorie ratio (g digestible lysine: Mcal or MJ d ‘ net energy). This mechanism automatically ensures that the final feed lysine level will be adjusted to meet the pigs’ total daily nutritional requirements even if the energy levels of the diet (and the resulting feed consumption) change.

This is illustrated in Table 1, which compares the digestible lysine levels for Genesus finishing pigs fed corn-based diets (more energy) versus barley / wheat diets (lower in energy). ) over the weight range of 100-130 kg (220-285 lb.). Note that the digestible lysine levels calculated for corn-based diets are higher than those based on wheat and barley diets. This happens due to a constant ratio (2.55) times two different food energy levels. Therefore, the total daily intake of lysine between the two diets will be similar even though the daily food intake will be different.

This example illustrates the importance of applying a lysine: energy ratio when determining final dietary lysine levels. Defining these ratios is one of the first steps a nutritionist takes when formulating diets and is a key factor in determining animal performance as well as the profitability of the resulting diets. For this reason, nutritionists emphasize the lysine: calories ratio as opposed to feed concentration when discussing appropriate levels of digestible lysine in pig diets.

Table 2 illustrates the appropriate digestible lysine / net energy ratios recommended for different weight ranges of Genesus pigs. These ratios were derived from detailed testing undertaken by Genesus over the past three years. Their application will ensure that Genesus pigs are fed in a way that maximizes income over feed costs.


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