A total of 64 nine-week-old pigs were used in two experiments to study the influence on feed intake, growth and carcass quality of dietary restriction at various ages or live weights. Two diets of different energy content were given throughout each experiment, which was divided into four periods on either an age or weight basis. Feed was restricted or offered ad libitum during each of the first three periods, all pigs being fed ad libitum during the last period.
Compensatory intake following a period of feed restriction occurred at most stages of growth but was most marked in the early stages. Compensation when it occurred took several weeks to develop fully and persisted for some time, often after an intervening period of ad libitum feeding. Increased gains resulted from increased intake although some of the early compensatory gains could not be fully explained by increased intake.
There were few appreciable differences between the pigs on the highand those on the low-energy diets. However, in the early stages the latter did not show the same response in intake following restriction as did the former (but in experiment I the latter were considerably lighter).
No effects on carcass quality were demonstrated under the conditions of these experiments.