The work was conducted to study the effect of varying the electrolyte balance in the diet on growth performance of post-weaning pigs. Dietary electrolyte balance (dEB) was calculated from:-
dEB (mEq) = (Na +K-C1)
The values for each element were calculated from:-
A diet was designed to comprise barley 262.5, wheat 225.5, cooked maize 200, soya bean meal 66, white fish meal 125, dried slrim milk 100, mineral/vitamin/amino acid supplement 5 and electrolyte mixture 16g/kg. The dietary specifications were 14.27 MJ DE, 223g crude protein, 24.2 crude fibre, 24.4g oil (acid ether extract), 54.7g ash, 13.7g lysine, 3.7g methionine and 8.6g threonine/kg.
The electrolyte mixture was initially solely anhydrous calcium chloride which was gradually replaced by sodium bicarbonate. Eight dietary treatments were calculated to contain dEB (mEq/kg) values of -114.5, -54.3, 14.5, 89.2, 155.1, 224.4, 296.1 and 365.0. Diets were offered an a scale calculated to be 0.85 of ad libitum.