Four diets which varied in crude protein concentration from 140 to 240 g crude protein per kg dry matter were given to gilts in experiment 1, and two diets containing 140 and 200 g crude protein per kg dry matter were given t o boars and barrows in experiment 2. Two levels of feeding were offered in both experiments and energy and nitrogen balances were measured at 30 and 90 kg live weight in both experiments, and also at 50 kg in experiment 1. Nitrogen intake had a small negative influence on energy retention by pigs of all sexes, an effect which was independent of the large positive effect of metabolizable energy intake. The ratio of metabolizable energy concentration to digestible energy concentration decreased in association with increases in crude protein concentration of the diets. The results show that comparisons of feeds on the basis of their digestible energy concentrations would lead to overestimation of the energy values of those containing high protein concentrations. Live weight (or age) and metabolizable energy intake exerted positive influences on the amount of energy retained per kg live-weight gain, whereas nitrogen intake exerted a negative influence. Values for energy retained per kg live-weight gain predicted from multiple regression equations, together with calculated values for maintenance and net efficiency, were used to predict the energy retention and growth rate of pigs in various circumstances.
Nitrogen retention increased in association with increases in nitrogen intake for pigs of all sexes at 30 kg live weight; there was also a corresponding increase for boars at 90kg live weight, but not for gilts or barrows at this weight. Boars retained more nitrogen than did barrows at 30 and 90 kg live weight only if given the diet with the higher concentration of protein.
Metabolizable energy intake appeared to exert a small positive influence on the nitrogen retention by pigs of all sexes at 90kg live weight; however, it appeared to have no influence on nitrogen retention by pigs at 30kg live weight.