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Precision feeding can significantly reduce lysine intake and nitrogen excretion without compromising the performance of growing pigs

  • I. Andretta (a1) (a2), C. Pomar (a1), J. Rivest (a3), J. Pomar (a4) and J. Radünz (a2)...

Abstract

This study was developed to assess the impact on performance, nutrient balance, serum parameters and feeding costs resulting from the switching of conventional to precision-feeding programs for growing–finishing pigs. A total of 70 pigs (30.4±2.2 kg BW) were used in a performance trial (84 days). The five treatments used in this experiment were a three-phase group-feeding program (control) obtained with fixed blending proportions of feeds A (high nutrient density) and B (low nutrient density); against four individual daily-phase feeding programs in which the blending proportions of feeds A and B were updated daily to meet 110%, 100%, 90% or 80% of the lysine requirements estimated using a mathematical model. Feed intake was recorded automatically by a computerized device in the feeders, and the pigs were weighed weekly during the project. Body composition traits were estimated by scanning with an ultrasound device and densitometer every 28 days. Nitrogen and phosphorus excretions were calculated by the difference between retention (obtained from densitometer measurements) and intake. Feeding costs were assessed using 2013 ingredient cost data. Feed intake, feed efficiency, back fat thickness, body fat mass and serum contents of total protein and phosphorus were similar among treatments. Feeding pigs in a daily-basis program providing 110%, 100% or 90% of the estimated individual lysine requirements also did not influence BW, body protein mass, weight gain and nitrogen retention in comparison with the animals in the group-feeding program. However, feeding pigs individually with diets tailored to match 100% of nutrient requirements made it possible to reduce (P<0.05) digestible lysine intake by 26%, estimated nitrogen excretion by 30% and feeding costs by US$7.60/pig (−10%) relative to group feeding. Precision feeding is an effective approach to make pig production more sustainable without compromising growth performance.

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