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The compensatorily-gained pigs resulted from feeding a methionine-deficient diet had more fat and less lean body mass

  • R. M. Humphrey (a1), Z. Yang (a1), M. S. Hasan (a1), M. A. Crenshaw (a1), D. D. Burnett (a1), J. K. Htoo (a2) and S. F. Liao (a1)...

Compensatory gain describes an accelerated growth seen in animals following a period of nutrient restriction. Methionine (Met) is the second limiting amino acid in typical swine diets and is essential for muscle growth. This study was conducted to determine (1) if a Met-deficient diet can cause growth retardation in growing pigs, (2) if returning to a normal feeding can yield compensatory gain in the pigs previously fed the Met-deficient diet, and (3) if this Met-deficiency followed by the normal feeding program affects carcass characteristics. Twenty individually-penned crossbred young barrows were randomly allotted to two dietary treatments (n = 10). One Met-deficient (D1) and one Met-adequate (D2) diets were formulated based on corn and soybean meal and fed to respective pigs for 31 days. After that, all pigs were fed the same commercial grower-finisher diet until market weight (around 125 kg), then slaughtered, and carcass characteristics measured. The D1 and D2 pigs began with similar body weights (23.5 vs. 23.6 kg; P = 0.935), but after 31-days on the dietary treatments, D1 pigs were lighter than D2 pigs (51.6 vs. 55.0 kg; P = 0.102). After feeding the normal diet for 55 days, D1 and D2 pigs had similar body weights (122.7 vs. 122.6 kg; P = 0.989). In terms of carcass characteristics, however, D1 pigs had thicker back-fat (at 10th rib; 2.95 vs. 2.51 cm; P = 0.015), heavier belly weight (11.0 vs. 9.6 kg; P = 0.005), lighter ham weights (untrimmed: 20.8 vs. 21.6 kg; P = 0.043; trimmed: 19.6 vs. 20.6 kg; P = 0.016), lighter picnic shoulder weight (8.72 vs. 9.80 kg; P = 0.041), lighter total lean cut weight (51.8 vs. 53.8 kg; P = 0.055), and lower lean cut percentage (56.4 vs. 59.0%; P = 0.012). These results indicate that the Met-deficient diet produced growth-retarded pigs, which showed compensatory gain after the normal feeding. At slaughter, the pigs previously fed the Met-deficient diet had more fat and less lean tissue than their non-deficient counterparts.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Shengfa F. Liao, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9815, USA. Phone: (+1) 662-3257318, Email:
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